COVID-19 VACCINES FOR CHILDREN UNDER 5
NEW: On June 18, the CDC recommended COVID-19 vaccines for all children ages 6 months through 5 years. This follows the Food and Drug Administration’s independent expert committee review of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine clinical trial data and their recommendation of both vaccines for authorization. Read more about CDC's recommendation
Most vaccines for this age group will be given at pediatricians’ offices and other health care practices. There will also be limited availability at pharmacies or pop-up-type clinics. All Health Department clinics are walk-in only.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines both require more than one dose. Clinical trial data for both vaccine brands have found no significant safety concerns. If you have questions, reach out to your child’s health care provider.
Boosters for kids age 5 to 11
On May 19, the CDC recommended a booster shot for 5- to 11- year olds who completed their primary vaccine series at least five months ago. You can get a booster shot through your child’s health care provider, pharmacy or one of the walk-in clinics listed at healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine. If you have questions, reach out to your provider.
See the video: 5-11 year old children can get a COVID-19 booster, translated from the Vermont Language Justice Project: American Sign Language | English | العربية /Arabic | မြန်မာစာ/Burmese | دری / Dari | Français/French | Kirundi | Maay Maay | Mandarin Chinese | नेपाली/Nepali | پښتو/Pashto | Soomaali | Español /Spanish | Swahili | Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese
Getting our children vaccinated will keep them safe and healthy, and help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. It also means more freedom so Vermont kids can be kids. They can see friends and family, travel and stay in school — all with less worry.
Same vaccine, smaller dose
Children 5 to 11 will receive the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The dose is specially made for this age group - one-third the size of the dose for people 12 and older. This provides enough protection with the least potential for side effects. Just like adolescents and adults, children will receive two doses of the vaccine given three weeks apart.
Children age 6 months through 5 years can receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in two doses that are three weeks apart, followed by a third dose at least two months later. Children 6 months through 6 years can receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in two doses four weeks apart.
How we know the vaccines are safe and effective for younger children
COVID-19 vaccines were developed after decades of research. While the COVID-19 virus itself is relatively new, scientists have been studying these types of viruses, known as coronaviruses, for decades. Children’s immune systems are different at different ages. They are also different from adults. This means that the vaccine studies done for adults and older children needed to be repeated with younger children.
While kids who are vaccinated against COVID can still become infected with new variants, the vaccines remain very helpful in lowering the risk of hospitalization or death.
Recent studies found:
- For children under 5 years:
- The Pfizer vaccine was found to be 80.3% in preventing infection with symptoms in children under five. The vaccine was shown to provide as much protection as those in adults ages 18 to 25 who got two doses.
- The Moderna vaccine was 51% effective in preventing infection with no symptoms in children ages 6 months to 2 years, and 37% effective in children ages 2 to 5 years. In both age groups, two doses provided as much protection as those that adults ages 18 to 25 had after two doses. It is important to note that parts of the studies for the Pfizer vaccine took place before the Omicron variant was the dominant variant, while the Moderna studies were conducted during the Omicron wave.
- For children ages 5 – 11: The Pfizer vaccine was found to be 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children age 5 to 11. Children age 5 to 11 had comparable rates of protection to those of teens and young adult
- The Pfizer vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 4,500 children five and under and 3,100 children age 5 to 11 who received the vaccine.
- No serious side effects have been detected in the ongoing study.
- Moderna enrolled approximately 11,700 children ages 6 months to 12 years in their studies, including 6,700 under 6 years old. Most side effects (for the group under 6 years of age) were mild or moderate and mostly reported after the second dose.
- No new safety concerns were identified. And with both vaccines, there were no cases of myocarditis.
Vermont pediatricians have hosted online conversations about COVID-19 vaccines for children! View a recording here.
Learn about vaccines for 5-11 years olds in this video from Dr. Andrea Green: American Sign Language | العربية / Arabic | မြန်မာစာ / Burmese | Français / French | Kirundi | नेपाली / Nepali | Soomaali / Somali | Español / Spanish | Swahili | Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese
What Families with Children Should Know About COVID-19 Vaccines
In العربية / Arabic | မြန်မာစာ / Burmese | 中文 / Chinese, Simplified | Chinese, Traditional | دری / Dari | Français / French | Kirundi | नेपाली / Nepali | پښتو / Pashto | Soomaali / Somali | Español / Spanish | Swahili | Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese | Ukrainian
- Talk to them about what to expect when they get the vaccine, and what might happen in the days after. They might feel a little sick for a day or two after getting their vaccine, but it won’t last long.
- Talk them through how the vaccine will teach their body to fight off the COVID-19 virus, and how by getting vaccinated they are helping to protect everyone around them.
- For more tips, look at Confident Care for Kids for vaccine visit preparation, and check out this article on making the shot a positive and calm experience for your child and you. This page is now available in Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese, English, French, Nepali, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, and Vietnamese - use the drop-down option in the top right corner of the Confident Care for Kids page.
Take a listen to the But Why kids podcast to hear questions from kids and parents about how the COVID-19 vaccine for kids works.
We encourage parents and caregivers to get your child vaccinated through your pediatrician or family health care provider, a pharmacy or anywhere you get other vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccine is free at any location and widely available across the state. There is no registration for these clinics. Check the vaccine clinics list to find a location near you. Be sure that the location offers "Pfizer Ages 5-11", "Pfizer Ages under 5" or "Moderna Ages under 6."
Find a vaccine near you at Vaccines.gov.
If you cannot get your child a vaccine through one of these options, call the Health Department at 802-863-7200, toll-free 800-464-4343.
Other Vaccine Clinic Options
- If you have a child with special health needs and it may not be in their best interest to travel to a vaccine clinic, speak to your health care provider about arranging vaccination at home. Or you can call 802-863-7200, toll-free 800-464-4343 to learn more about this option.
- If you are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or a person of color, including anyone with Abenaki or other First Nations heritage) and looking for support in finding a vaccine or getting vaccinated, contact the Vermont Health Equity Initiative.
- If you are interested in learning about clinics for English language learners or immigrant/refugee community members, please contact the Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV) at 802-985-3106.
For any walk-in clinic, you must come to get your vaccine with a parent or guardian who can give consent or bring a completed Immunization Clinic Consent Form and Prevaccination Checklist for COVID-19 Vaccine. Find translations for the consent and checklist.