COVID-19 vaccinations for children and youth ages 5-17

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.

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 through 4 years old, please visit:

Talk to your child's doctor about COVID-19 vaccines or search for vaccination appointments (or find a mobile vaccination clinic).

Table of Contents

Should my child receive the COVID-19 vaccine? 

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older in the United States for the prevention of COVID-19. There is currently no FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine for children younger than age 6 months. CDC recommends that people stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be safe, effective, and protective against serious illness in children and is available in Massachusetts free of charge for children who live or go to school in the Commonwealth. Help protect your entire family by getting everyone vaccinated. You don't need an ID or insurance to get it. 

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe 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 children. 

Your child can’t get COVID-19 from any vaccine, including the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine. 

Each COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet with information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine. See the Moderna vaccine fact sheet and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine fact sheet

Learn more about vaccine safety from CDC.

Is my child up to date with COVID-19 vaccination? 

The virus that causes COVID-19 has changed over time. The different versions of the virus that have developed over time are called variants.  The first COVID-19 vaccines are called “monovalent” because they were designed to protect against the original variant of virus that causes COVID-19.  However, two COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna, have developed updated COVID-19 vaccines.  The updated vaccines are called “bivalent” because they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the newer variants, such as Omicron variants.  The newer bivalent vaccines provide greater protection from COVID- 19 than the original monovalent vaccines. 

CDC recommends that all people ages 6 months and older receive at least 1 bivalent (updated) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. 

  • Children age 6 years old or older should receive at least one dose of bivalent vaccine. 
  • Children age 5 years old should receive 1 or 2 doses of bivalent vaccine, depending on the specific vaccine. 

Please find more information about COVID 19 vaccination at: 

What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine? 

Side effects after a COVID-19 vaccination tend to be mild, temporary, and like those experienced after other routine vaccinations.  Serious side effects occurring after COVID-19 vaccination are extremely rare.  For more information on COVID-19 vaccine safety

How can my child get a COVID-19 vaccine? 

Talk to your child's doctor about COVID-19 vaccines or search for vaccination appointments (or find a mobile vaccination clinic).  To learn more about disability-friendly vaccination events across the Commonwealth, check out 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. 

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.  

How can I prepare for my child's vaccination 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 may 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. 

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. 


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.

Safety and Effectiveness

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

DPH Child Vaccines - Dr. Frinny Polanco Walters - English

Vacunas para niños DPH - Dr. Frinny Polanco Walters - Español


COVID-19 vaccine - safe and effective for children 6 months and older



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