Children 5–11 years old can now get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for protection against COVID-19. Vaccination for COVID-19 is the best way to prevent severe symptoms and complications.
The new Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5–11 can help keep your child safe from the harmful effects of COVID-19 so they can safely go back to school and public spaces.
Is the vaccine safe for children? Yes, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been studied in more than 3,100 children ages 5 through 11. No serious side effects have been detected according to the FDA.
When are these vaccines available for children ages 5–11? The COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5–11 are now available, as of October 29, 2021. California has allocated more than 1.2 million vaccines for the 5–11 age group and is setting up 4,000 vaccine sites throughout the state, according to CA.gov.
How is the vaccine administered? The vaccine is administered in a two-dose series taken three weeks apart. Children ages 5–11 receive a much lower dose of the vaccine than individuals 12 years of age and older.
Where can my child get vaccinated? You can talk to your school administrator about vaccine clinics at their school or discuss vaccine options available at your pediatrician’s office. You can also use the MyTurnCA website or Vaccines.gov to find a free vaccination location near you.
Why should I get my child vaccinated against COVID-19? Children are as likely as adults to be infected with COVID-19, according to the CDC. They can get very sick from the virus and experience both short- and long-term health complications. As of mid-October 2021, children ages 5–11 have accounted for more than 8,300 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and nearly 100 deaths. In fact, COVID-19 now ranks as one of the top 10 causes of death for U.S. children ages 5–11. Children can also spread COVID-19 to parents and caretakers, increasing their risk for illness.
How many children have received the COVID-19 vaccine in California? As of early-December 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) vaccine dashboard reports that more than half a million children ages 5–11 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, including 82,000 children who have been fully vaccinated with both doses and more than 496,000 children who have gotten their first dose.