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COVID-19 Vaccine for Children


The COVID-19 vaccine can help protect your child from getting very sick from COVID-19, a disease caused by a type of coronavirus. COVID-19 can cause long-term health problems and serious illnesses, such as pneumonia. It can even cause death.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated for COVID-19. Your child may get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time they get other vaccines, such as the flu vaccine. Make sure to stay up-to-date on vaccines.

Why should your child get it?

The COVID-19 vaccine can help protect your child from the virus. If your child gets COVID-19, their symptoms will probably be less severe than if they didn't get the vaccine. And your child may be less likely to get heart problems or diabetes if they get COVID-19.

Getting vaccinated helps keep your child from missing school, day care, sports, and other events. It can also help protect people around your child who are more at risk. It's especially important to get your child vaccinated if they have immune problems or chronic diseases like asthma. Your child can't get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

What are the side effects?

Your child might not have side effects. But if there are side effects, they'll probably be like those of other vaccines, including:

  • Fever.
  • Soreness.
  • Feeling very tired.

This is normal. The body is building protection against COVID-19.

Your child may have other side effects, including:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Crankiness or crying.
  • Chills.
  • A headache.
  • Pain, redness, a rash, or swelling in the arm or leg where they had the vaccine.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit of the arm or in the groin area of the leg where they had the vaccine.

Side effects will likely go away in a few days.

If you think your child has been exposed to COVID-19 or if they have symptoms like a cough, trouble breathing, a sore throat, or a runny nose, call your child's doctor. These aren't vaccine side effects. Your child needs a COVID-19 test.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • If your child has a sore arm or a fever after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, ask their doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
  • Put ice or a cold pack on your child's sore arm for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your child's skin.
  • If your child has side effects, such as a fever, be sure they get enough rest and drink plenty of fluids.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

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