COVID vaccines are our best hope to move forward from the COVID pandemic. Nearly all kids age 6 months and older are eligible for COVID vaccines.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend COVID vaccines for everyone age 6 months and older. The vaccine equips your child's immune system to recognize and resist the virus. This protects them and everyone around them from serious disease and hospitalization from COVID.
Recommended dose & type of vaccine
Two COVID mRNA vaccines from Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna are available for kids age 6 months and older. If your child is at least 12 years old and is unable to receive the mRNA vaccines, they may be eligible for the
protein subunit COVID vaccine from Novavax.
Babies and young children who have never been vaccinated get a different number of
doses than unvaccinated older children and teens. See the chart below for details. Parents should note that additional
doses may be recommended if a child has certain medical conditions or takes medicines that weaken the immune system.
6 months – 4 years old
6 – 11 years old
12 years and older
Pfizer or Moderna vaccine
12 – 17 years
Source: AAP Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Dosing Quick Reference Guide,
If your child has a medical condition or takes medicines that affect their immune system, ask your pediatrician whether your child's recommended schedule is different.
Do kids need to wait to get the vaccine if they had COVID?
Talk to your pediatrician about the best timing for vaccination following infection. If your child has an active COVID infection or had COVID between doses, they should wait to get vaccinated until they've recovered and are no longer contagious.
Children who recently had COVID can consider delaying a COVID vaccine by up to 3 months. This is because there is a lower risk of getting sick with COVID again during that time. But it is important to note that with the recent variants, some people have gotten COVID again within 3 months.
People still should get all recommended doses even if they had COVID. This is because COVID vaccines have been shown to provide the strongest, broadest and most long-lasting protection, both in people who have and who have not had COVID infection previously. People who are not vaccinated and become infected also may be at higher risk of long-term effects from their infection (known as
long COVID or
One thing is certain: COVID-19 vaccines are preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death for
billions of people who've received them already. We are relieved that almost all children and teens can get the vaccines, so they can enjoy their communities safely.