Page last updated: March 23, 2022 at 4:15 p.m.
Not all providers can administer vaccines to children aged 5-11. The dosage for children under 12 is different from that for those 12 years and older, so check VaccineLocator to see which providers near you serve children under 12.
The COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer underwent extensive testing and review before receiving the FDA’s and CDC’s authorization and recommendation. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for children as young as 5 because the benefits of vaccination outweigh any risks of vaccination.
The vaccine dose for kids ages 5-11 is about three times smaller than the dosage approved for people older than 12. This is partly because young children’s immune systems are strong and respond well to fewer antibodies, so they don’t need as large of a dose as older children and adults do. Researchers in the clinical trials chose a smaller dose for children that would be effective and safe for their bodies.
With any vaccine, there’s always a risk of side effects. Possible side effects include a sore arm, fatigue, or pain, swelling, or inflammation near the injection site (upper arm). These side effects are normal and are a sign that the vaccine is working.
As with any vaccine, serious reactions have been rare during vaccine testing, and the benefits of getting kids vaccinated greatly outweigh any risk.
It’s natural and normal to be concerned about the choices you make about your child’s health. If you have more questions about getting your child vaccinated against COVID-19, talk to your child’s health care provider, just like you would for your other health concerns.
The vaccine will be provided to kids at no cost. It will be covered by Medicaid (Apple Health) and most private insurance. Uninsured parents and caregivers will have their vaccination costs covered by the federal government if they vaccinate at a Whatcom County Health Department pop-up clinic. Find our weekly pop-up clinic list by visiting our vaccination page.
The criteria for full vaccination for kids ages 5-11 is the same as for everyone else. Kids are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after they’ve gotten their second Pfizer shot. Currently, boosters are not recommended for anyone younger than 12.