Children and youth ages 5 to 17 who live or go to school in Massachusetts are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is safe, free and effective. You don't need identification or insurance to get it.
- This page, COVID-19 vaccinations for children and youth ages 5-17, is offered by
- Department of Public Health
COVID-19 vaccinations for children and youth ages 5-17
Help protect your whole family by getting yourself and your children ages 5-17 vaccinated against COVID-19.
Information on vaccinating people ages 6 months to 4 years old, please visit: mass.gov/COVIDvaccineyoungkids
Table of Contents
Vaccines for children ages 5-17
The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for use in children ages 5-17.
Contact your child’s health care provider or search VaxFinder.mass.gov for vaccination appointments.
COVID-19 vaccine safety for children
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, which includes studies in adolescents and children.
Your child can’t get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine
Where and how to get the vaccine
Consent for children and youth ages 5-17
A legally authorized representative (usually a parent or guardian) must give permission (also called consent) for vaccination of a child 5-17 years of age. This can be done by completing a written consent form that the minor (the person under the age of 18) can bring to their vaccination appointment.
Please contact the vaccination location for more information on written consent, or download a copy of the consent form below.
The parent or guardian does not need to go with the minor to their vaccination appointment to give consent. If the parent or guardian is not accompanying the minor, they should download and complete a pre-vaccination screening form, available at mass.gov/CDCScreeningForm. The form is available in several languages.
Providers are not required to use this form. Providers may continue to follow their regular practice for obtaining consent, including verbal consent, provided all the conditions of the Emergency Use Authorization are met (such as the consenting parent/guardian is provided the fact sheet on the vaccine).
How can I prepare for my child's vaccination appointment?
- Download and complete a consent form to present at your child’s appointment
- Get tips for how to support your child before, during, and after the visit
- Talk to your child before the visit about what to expect
- Tell the doctor or nurse about any allergies your child may have
- Comfort your child during the appointment
- After your child’s COVID-19 vaccination, you will be asked to stay for 15–30 minutes so your child can be observed in case they have a severe allergic reaction and need immediate treatment.
Will my pediatrician have the vaccine?
We recommend that you call your pediatrician’s office to confirm they have vaccines available and to make an appointment.
Does my child need identification or insurance to get the vaccine?
No. Your child can get a vaccine even if they do not have insurance or a Social Security number. For more information, visit How to prepare for your COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
Do I have to pay for the vaccine?
The vaccine is free. Your child does not need health insurance to get one, and you won’t be asked for payment information. If you do have health insurance, you should bring your insurance card to your appointment.
Where can I get a vaccine for my child?
The vaccine is available for children at vaccination locations across the Commonwealth.
Check with your child's health care provider or use VaxFinder.mass.gov to find available locations or appointments.
To learn more about disability-friendly vaccination events across the Commonwealth, check out VaxAbilities.com. Disability-friendly vaccination clinics will have appointments with extra time and staff to provide skilled support to people with disabilities and/or sensory support needs.
What age group is eligible to receive the vaccine?
Children who live or study in Massachusetts and are ages 6 months-17 are eligible to receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Children 12 and older may receive Novavax.
My child goes to school in MA but is not a permanent resident. Can they get the vaccine?
Yes. The Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccination program is intended for individuals who live, work, or study in the Commonwealth. Your child may also get their second dose in Massachusetts if they received the first dose in another state. Please be sure to keep the vaccination card you were given at the time of their first dose.
You can receive a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record by contacting your primary care provider or by reaching out to the location where you were vaccinated. Learn how to contact each location.
People ages 6 months and older are recommended to receive 1 updated (bivalent mRNA) booster dose after completion of any primary series or previously received monovalent booster dose(s) with the following exception: children 6 months–4 years who receive a 3-dose Pfizer-BioNTech primary series are not authorized to receive a booster dose at this time regardless of which Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (i.e., a monovalent or bivalent) was administered for the third primary series dose. Monovalent mRNA vaccines are not authorized as a booster dose.
For people ages 6 years and older, your booster vaccine does NOT need to be the same as your primary series – “mix & match” is OK.
For people under 6 years of age, the booster vaccine should be the same product as the primary series (if you got a Pfizer primary series, you should get the Pfizer booster; if you got the Moderna primary series, you should get the Moderna booster)
Safety and Effectiveness
The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children and youth.
Since the vaccines were approved, hundreds of millions of people of different races and ethnicities worldwide have been vaccinated, and most have only experienced mild side effects.
How many doses will be needed for children and youth under 18 years old?
The recommendations can vary based on your age, health status, and which product you get. Check with your healthcare provider or vaccine administrator to determine what is right for you. You can also find detailed information at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html
Can my child get the flu shot and the COVID vaccination at the same time?
Yes, your child may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same visit.