COVID-19 Vaccination Information for Kids & Teens

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of three COVID-19 vaccines in the United States:

  • The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people 12 years of age and older.
  • The Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are authorized for people age18 and over.
  • There is no vaccine authorized yet for children under age 12.

Additional dose of vaccine now recommended for immunocompromised people

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that immunocompromised people — including those ages 12 and older — receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. People who are immunocompromised may be more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, and a third dose of the vaccine may offer them more protection. They include people who:

  • are undergoing active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
  • have had a solid-organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • have had a CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within two years of transplantation or are taking immunosuppression therapy)
  • have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • have advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • are undergoing active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.

More details are available at the CDC’s website.

If you or your child have not received your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — or if you or your child are immunocompromised and believe you qualify for a third dose — please register for the Boston Children’s patient portal to self-schedule an appointment or call 617-919-7102 to connect with a member of our team to schedule. Phone lines are open Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

If children don't frequently experience severe illness with COVID-19, why do they need a COVID-19 vaccine?

While it’s infrequent, it does happen. Learn about our post-COVID clinic, A COVID-19 vaccine may also reduce the chance of your child from spreading the COVID-19 virus to others, including younger children, who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.

Educating kids about the COVID-19 vaccine

 

Watch our video to learn why Boston Children’s employees and patients say they’re choosing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Facts about the COVID-19 vaccine in kids and teens

The COVID-19 vaccines:

  • may the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • are very effective. The vaccines authorized so far by the FDA are up to 95% effective for preventing symptomatic illness from COVID-19. This is a very high level of protection.
  • are safe for all approved ages (currently that is 12+).
  • cannot make you sick with COVID-19 since none of them contain the live virus.
  • do not impact fertility or menstrual cycle. Boston Children's doctor addresses infertility worries tied to COVID-19
  • do not alter your DNA
  • appear to provide good protection for new variants against severe COVID-19 caused by the delta variant, even though research suggests they are slightly less effective overall
  • are safe for people with underlying medical conditions, as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine
  • are recommended by the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association and many other groups

People of color may have concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine for personal or historic reasons. We address why some people hesitate and why we continue to recommend vaccination.

Getting your child vaccinated

Where can my child get the vaccine?

At Boston Children’s, we’re vaccinating eligible patients against COVID-19. It is possible that there will be sites closer to home that offer the vaccine, too. You can search for vaccines near you on the vaccine.gov website.

While we are eager to be a vaccine resource, we encourage you to take advantage of any opportunity to schedule a vaccination appointment through state and local health care organizations and agencies by visiting mass.gov/vaccine.

Because every state is a little different, we encourage Boston Children’s families outside Massachusetts to get vaccinated in your home state as soon as you are eligible, instead of waiting for your child to receive their vaccine at Boston Children’s.

Where is Boston Children’s offering vaccine clinics?

Boston Children’s is offering vaccines at our Longwood campus in Boston, as well as periodically at satellite locations and the Martha Eliot Health Center.

 

How do I schedule my child for a vaccine?

Please register for the Boston Children’s patient portal to self-schedule an appointment or call 617-919-7102 to connect with a member of our team to schedule. Phone lines will be open Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Is there transportation assistance available for COVID-19 vaccine appointments?

Sí. We will ask you if you need transportation assistance when we contact you to schedule your child’s vaccine.

If your child has MassHealth coverage or the Health Safety Net, including MassHealth Limited, Children’s Medical Security Program (CMSP) and MassHealth Family Assistance (FA), you can arrange free transportation to your child’s COVID-19 vaccine appointment by calling 800-841-2900 (TTY: +1 800-497-4648). For more information, visit the MassHealth website.

Boston Children’s is providing free parking for all vaccine appointments.


Frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines

Does my child actually need a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine
My child has already had COVID-19. Do they still need the vaccine?
Should my child get the COVID-19 vaccine if they are currently sick with COVID-19?
Will the vaccine affect my child’s future fertility?
Does the vaccine cause myocarditis?
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe for children?
Are there side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
Should I be worried about how quickly these vaccines were created?
How many doses will my child need?
Why are kids ages 12-15 getting the same COVID-19 vaccine dose as adults?
How much will the vaccine cost me?

Download the patient education sheet

You’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine. What now?

You’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine. What can you do now? Our infectious disease expert explains what you should know.