The COVID-19 Vaccine and Your Child. What to Know. Where to Go.
From reading every nutrition label on their baby food to toddler-proofing your kitchen to insisting they wear helmets on bikes, scooters and roller skates, you take great care to protect your child. You do everything you can to keep them safe, no matter where they are. You will go to any length to keep your child out of harm’s way. Nothing matters more to you than your child’s health, happiness, and ability to thrive — as an infant, child, and teenager, as well as through their adult life.
These are the very same reasons millions of children ages 5 to 11 in the United States — plus millions more adolescents ages 12 to 17 — have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Throughout the country, parents and other adults in charge of the well-being of a child have put getting their youngster vaccinated on the top of their “to-do” list. These adults know that the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect their youngsters from getting seriously ill from the virus. The vaccine can prevent them from being hospitalized or possibly dying from COVID-19. The vaccine gives parents more power to keep their children safe, out of harm’s way, healthy, and thriving.
But, like you, these parents and guardians don’t take anything lightly when it comes to making medical decisions for their child.
They asked tons of questions, not just to make sure the COVID-19 vaccine was OK for their child to get, but also to ensure it was the very best decision they could make. Here are important answers that experts — from pediatricians and researchers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to other health officials — offer parents.
The COVID-19 vaccine for kids:
- Has been proven safe, under intensive safety monitoring. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is authorized by the FDA for children 5 and older.
- Is the most effective tool available to protect your child from COVID-19 and highly contagious variants. As winter weather keeps more activities indoors, now is a very important time to provide your child with this protection.
- Has no lasting side effects, does not affect fertility, and will not alter DNA. The most common side effect of the vaccine is a sore arm. However, if a child gets COVID-19, it can be serious and last for months.
- Poses very little to no threat of myocarditis. Myocarditis is an extremely rare side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine. If it does occur, the case is very mild, and a child can recover with minimal treatment. Your child is more likely to get myocarditis from getting COVID-19.
- Is important for children, even if they have had COVID-19. Children are not immune to COVID-19. In fact, the delta variant caused the number of childhood cases and hospitalizations to rise in Delaware.
- Supports normal “kid” stuff. Vaccinated children do not have to quarantine and miss school and other activities if they are exposed to COVID-19.
Plus, the COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 and older is available at no cost, even for families without health insurance or those who are not U.S. citizens. You can get your child vaccinated by their pediatrician as well as at multiple health system locations, pharmacies, and Delaware Division of Public Health clinics throughout Delaware.
As an adult in charge of the well-being of a child, you’re always going to worry about them — that’s what makes you a loving and wonderful parent! But getting them vaccinated against COVID-19 can take some weight off your shoulders and help keep everyone in your family safe. If you’re still on the fence about getting a child vaccinated, visit de.gov/youthvaccine or call 1-833-643-1715 to learn more and find out where you can get a free COVID-19 vaccine by appointment or walk-in.