These short, factual messages can help you talk about the COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years old.
Young children can become very sick from COVID-19. They can spread the virus.
- COVID-19 can make children very sick. It can potentially result in hospitalization, long-term health complications, or even death. Tens of thousands of children and teens with COVID-19 have had to be hospitalized, and long COVID does occur among kids.
- Children can also spread the virus to other people, including older family members.
The COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect children from getting very sick from the virus.
- The vaccine also 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.
Being vaccinated helps keep children from getting very sick from COVID-19.
- Just like adults, children who are vaccinated may still get COVID, but being vaccinated matters. It helps prevent them from getting very sick.
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.
You should still vaccinate your child even if you were vaccinated during pregnancy or if you were vaccinated when you breastfed them.
- While antibodies can be passed on during pregnancy and breastfeeding, protection may lessen over time.
Clinical trials have shown that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective.
- 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.
All COVID vaccines have undergone rigorous review before being authorized for specific age groups, including the vaccine for younger kids.
Side effects for the vaccine are usually mild and temporary.
- Some children might experience mild side effects like fatigue, headaches, or fever, much like other vaccines. These are signs that the body is building protection against COVID.
The COVID-19 vaccine is effective for children.
- Clinical trials proved that the pediatric vaccine is an effective way to prevent COVID infection and serious illness in young children.
- 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.
Children can be vaccinated by their health care provider or at health centers and other locations offering vaccination for young children.
- 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