The COVID-19 vaccines that are approved for use in children and teens are safe. There are some mild or moderate short-term side effects that your child may experience. These are very similar to the ones that adults experience from the COVID-19 vaccine.
clinical trials, some children and adolescents had no side effects and, like adults, more children and adolescents had short-term side effects after the second dose of the vaccine compared to after their first dose.
It is important to note that children 5-11 years old had short-term side effects less often than older adolescents and adults.
Short-term side effects that your child may feel:
These symptoms usually go away in a day or so on their own. But you can ask your pediatrician about ways to help your child feel better.
What about serious side effects?
It is rare, but some people have had a severe
allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine. That's why your child will need to wait for 15 to 30 minutes after they have a vaccination. There are medicines to quickly treat allergic reactions.
If you think your child might be having a severe allergic reaction after you leave the appointment, seek immediate medical care by calling 911.
When the vaccine was being studied, a small number of children had lymph node swelling. Local skin reactions also occurred.
The other very, very rare side effect is
myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle. Having COVID-19 disease also can lead to this type of heart inflammation. COVID-19 infection is much more likely to cause myocarditis in children, especially children who develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome, than the vaccine.
As for long-term side effects from the vaccine, the CDC says
this is unlikely. We have years of research and monitoring on other vaccinations that show side effects almost always happen within six weeks of getting a vaccine.
COVID-19 illness was one of the top 10 causes of death for kids 5 to 11 years old this past year. Thousands of children also have needed care in the hospital. And even children who have no symptoms from COVID-19 illness can—and have—developed lasting symptoms weeks to months after they recover, known as
The COVID-19 virus is still spreading, and its course has not always been predictable. Getting the vaccine for your child and teen is safe and can stop the spread of the virus and protect your family from COVID-19.
So mark your calendar. It's time to
get ready for your child's appointment day!