Why should children under 5 get the COVID-19 vaccine?
- COVID-19 can make children very sick. Tens of thousands of children and teens with COVID-19 have had to be hospitalized, and long COVID does occur among kids.
- The vaccine is the best way to protect your child from getting very sick. It helps protect young children who are unable to wear masks or social distance. Vaccinating children also helps protect loved ones at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.
What if my child has already had COVID-19?
Children should still get vaccinated, even if they have already had COVID-19. People who are fully vaccinated have better protection than people who have only been infected with COVID-19. If your child has had COVID, they can get vaccinated as soon as they are recovered from illness and their isolation period has ended.
If I got the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, does my child still need to be vaccinated? What if I am vaccinated and currently breastfeeding?
Yes, you should still vaccinate your child if you were vaccinated during pregnancy and/or if you are currently breastfeeding. While antibodies can be passed on during pregnancy and breastfeeding, protection may become less over time.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for young children? What about long-term effects?
Yes. Vaccine safety was studied in over 10,000 children ages 6 months to 5 years. Some children had mild side effects like tiredness or fever, but this did not last long and all of them got better quickly. The COVID-19 vaccine for children is a type of vaccine called an mRNA vaccine, which has been studied in animal and human trials for years, without long-term effects. Because COVID-19 can make kids sick, getting vaccinated is the best choice for long-term health and safety.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine effective?
Yes. Clinical trials showed that the vaccine for younger children is effective in reducing the rate of infection and in creating levels of similar levels of immunity in kids as in teens and adults.
Where can my child get vaccinated?
If possible, contact your child’s health care provider to schedule an appointment. If your child does not have a health care provider, use VaxFinder.mass.gov to find an appointment at a pharmacy, health center, or other location that vaccinates young children. In-home vaccinations are available for anyone who has difficulty using a community vaccination location.
Learn more at www.mass.gov/CovidVaccineYoungKids.