COVID-19 Vaccines for Children The COVID-19 vaccine is available for children 6 months and older. Call your healthcare provider or your local health department about vaccines for young children. Find a Vaccine or Booster Moderna (6 month to 5 year olds) Pfizer-BioNTech (6 month to 4 year olds) Pfizer-BioNTech (5-11 year olds) 5-digit Zip CodeGo Please enter a 5 digit zip code Versión en español They're safe. Clinical trials with more than 3,000 children found the vaccines work and are safe. The side effects are similar to adults: a sore arm, headache, and being tired or achy for a day or two. More information below. They're free. COVID vaccines are always free, even if you don't have insurance and regardless of your immigration status. Children get a smaller dose of the vaccine, so it may not be available everywhere. Call ahead to make sure. Find a Kids Vaccine Near You Help others get them. You have a powerful voice to help your community, school, church, or company understand the benefits of kids getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Get our toolkit with social media graphics, flyers, and more: Graphics, flyers and materials Children ages 5-11 are eligible for boosters To strengthen and extend protection against COVID-19, boosters are now available to all North Carolinians 5 and older. Information about boosters Here's what parents should know. The vaccine has been tested in kids. Clinical trials began in March 2021. Pfizer-BioNTech began its first study with children ages six months to 11 years old. The first phase of the trial enrolled 4,500 children from more than 90 clinical trial sites around the world. Results from the trial showed the COVID-19 vaccine was safe and effective. There were no safety concerns or serious side effects noted in the clinical trials and ongoing study. More than 3,000 children ages 5 to 11 participated in the trials. This is comparable to the number included in many similar clinical trials with children. Trials included volunteers from different races and ethnicities (77% white, 6% Black, 8% Asian, 17% Hispanic/Latino, 7% multiracial). Children were given two doses. Each dose was one third the amount of the dose given to people 12 and older. Doses were given 21 days apart. No cases of myocarditis (a heart muscle inflammation, very rarely seen in some adults taking the vaccine), were seen in children 5 to 11 in the clinical trials. Ongoing safety surveillance will continue to determine if this rare occurrence is a risk to younger children. The CDC also implemented a smartphone-based tool called v-safe to check in on people’s health after they receive a COVID-19 vaccine. When your child receives their vaccine, you should also receive a v-safe information sheet telling you how to enroll in v-safe. If you enroll, you will receive regular text messages directing you to surveys where you can report any problems or adverse reactions your child has after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Temporary side effects are similar to older kids and adults. Temporary side effects for the COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5 to 11 were similar to side effects seen in people 16 to 25. Your child may temporarily experience a sore arm, headache and being tired or achy for a day or so. COVID-19 vaccines protect your child from serious illness. The risks of serious side effects from the vaccine are far less than the risk of serious illness from COVID-19. An extremely rare side effect of the vaccine seen in some studies, but not with young children so far, is myocarditis, or heart muscle inflammation. Myocarditis has been seen in some older adolescent and young males, with mostly mild cases. People usually recover on their own or need minimal treatment. No cases of myocarditis were seen in children age 5-11 in the clinical trials. Ongoing safety surveillance will continue in order to determine if this rare occurrence is a risk to younger children. Will my child need to stay home from school? Every child will be different, but kids may be sore or tired. If you are able to, consider getting your child vaccinated on a day when they could rest. If your child has had COVID-19, still get the vaccine. If they're sick right now, wait. If your child has already been sick with COVID-19, we hope they're better! Once they're well, they should still get the vaccine. Evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being vaccinated, even if they've had COVID-19. It's possible that the immunity from natural infection decreases over time, especially for those with mild symptoms. Anyone who is currently sick with COVID-19 should wait for their symptoms to improve before getting the vaccine. If symptoms are mild or the infection is asymptomatic (they never develop symptoms), wait 10 days after the first positive COVID-19 test. If they are treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. The doses are different for kids. Not every location may have them. It’s a smaller dose than the adult vaccine, which means not every location will have them. Babies and toddlers ages 6 months through 2 years cannot be vaccinated by a pharmacist. They can get their vaccine only at a doctor’s office or local health center where the correct dose for their age is available. Kids ages 3 and older can be vaccinated at any location that has the smaller dose available. That means pediatricians, doctors’ offices, hospitals, local pharmacies—and unlike some vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine will be free everywhere. Parental consent is required. There are more than 800 locations in North Carolina that will carry the kids vaccines—so don’t worry! There is plenty of vaccine available across the state. Find a vaccination location for children near you. Children can get the shot in their arm or leg. The arm muscle is preferred for COVID-19 vaccines for children 5-11 years of age. However, the leg can be used as well, if needed. So it’s likely that your child can receive the shot however works best for them. Kids 5 to 11 will still get two doses 21 days apart, just like for older kids and adults. Talking to younger children about vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccine protects you from getting really sick. The vaccine is like a shield that helps us not get really sick. It’s the best way to stop COVID-19. Wearing a mask helps but the vaccine is even stronger protection. Getting the vaccine will mean you and I can both feel better knowing you have extra protection when you go to school, play with your friends or get together with family. This vaccine teaches your body how to fight the COVID virus, so you won't get it, or if you do get it, it won’t be so bad. You'll feel a pinch from the needle. This vaccine comes in a shot, like other vaccines. You’ll feel a quick pinch in your arm or leg, and then it will be over. It may hurt, but I'll be with you, and if it does hurt, the pain will only last a little while. You'll get a bandage to cover it, and we’ll wait in the office a little while before we leave. You might feel tired or sore for a while. For a day or two after your vaccine, you might feel tired or a little sick, and your arm or leg might feel sore where you got the shot. These side effects are good signs that the vaccine is working in your body, teaching it how to protect you against COVID. You should feel better in a couple of days. You can’t get COVID from getting the vaccine. Talk to me about how you feel, and if you start to feel really bad, I can give you medicine or call the doctor to help you feel better. You’ll need another vaccine in a few weeks. Your body needs to get this vaccine three times to work the best and give the most protection. In three weeks, we’ll go get another shot, just like the first one. You might not feel as tired or sore the second time, or you might feel different. After a few months, you'll need a third shot to help the vaccine keep working. Still have questions? We're here to help. Call the NC COVID-19 Vaccine Help Center at 888-675-4567 or send us a message.