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 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

This fact sheet tells you more about the Pfizer vaccine. This fact sheet tells you more about the Moderna 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.

Eligibility

What age group is eligible to receive the vaccine?

Children who live or study in Massachusetts and are ages 5-17 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.

Booster information

Everyone ages 5 years and older should get all COVID-19 primary series doses, plus the most recent booster dose recommended for them.  

People ages 5 years and older, including those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, are recommended to get 1 dose of the updated/bivalent booster vaccine at least two months after their last primary series or monovalent booster dose. 

You can mix and match vaccines. Your booster does not need to be the same vaccine brand as your original COVID-19 vaccination, as long as it is an age appropriate vaccine.   

The updated Pfizer booster vaccine can be given to people 5 years and older.   

People 6 years and older can be given either the updated Pfizer booster vaccine or the updated Moderna booster vaccine, as both are authorized for this age group.

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 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age is administered in 2 doses 3 to 8 weeks apart. It is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than vaccines used for individuals 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms).  

The Moderna vaccine for children ages 6-11 years of age is administered in 2 doses, 4 to 8 weeks apart at 50 micrograms per dose. 

Youth ages 12-17 follow the general guidance for vaccine dosage and schedule.  

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

Videos

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

Contact

Phone

Informational and referral hotline 211

24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are free and confidential. Interpreter services are available in multiple languages.

All calls are free and confidential.

Feedback