COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Children ages 5-11
Broadlawns Medical Center is scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments for pediatric patients ages 5-11 at our Main Campus Pediatric, Primary Care, and Family Health Center clinics. Please call to schedule an appointment:
Learn about COVID-19 vaccines for children
The COVID-19 vaccines have gone through the same testing and analysis that is used for all vaccines to make sure they’re safe and effective for children 5 and older. They're being made available based on guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).
The Pfizer-BioNTech (Comiranty) vaccine is fully approved for standard use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for individuals 16 and older, and authorized for emergency use for those aged 5-15.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do children ages 5 years and older need to be vaccinated?
There are approximately 28 million children between the ages of 5 and 11 years old in the United States, and there have been nearly 2 million cases of COVID-19 within this age group during the pandemic. Children who get COVID-19 can get very sick, require hospitalization, and even die. Also, younger school-aged children who get infected can spread COVID-19 to people in their households and school settings. With many children back in school and participating in extracurricular activities, COVID-19 vaccination is critical to preventing infection and serious illness, as well as slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Are children at risk of getting sick from COVID-19?
Children ages 5 through 11 years are at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. As of October 2021, children ages 5 through 11 years have experienced more than 8,300 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and nearly 100 deaths from COVID-19. In fact, COVID-19 ranks as one of the top 10 causes of death for children aged 5 through 11 years. Additionally, children can experience both short and long-term conditions after infection.
Children who get COVID-19 can also develop serious complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C)—a condition where different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. From April 2020 to October 2021, more than 2,300 cases of MIS-C have been reported in children ages 5 through 11 years. Children with underlying medical conditions are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with healthy children.
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for children ages 5 through 11 years?
Yes. The vaccines are safe for children in this age group. Clinical trials were conducted with thousands of children and no serious safety concerns were identified.
Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. The FDA gave the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency authorization to use in children ages 5 through 15 years old and full approval to use in people ages 16 years and older. Learn more about the process of developing, authorizing, and approving COVID-19 vaccines.
Based on data from the clinical trial, children may have some side effects from COVID-19 vaccination, which are similar to what adults have experienced and the side effects that many children experience after routine vaccination. These side effects are normal signs that their body is building protection and may affect your child’s ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some children will not have side effects. Serious side effects are rare but may occur.
The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks.
What are the ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines?
Vaccine ingredients vary by manufacturer. None of the vaccines contain eggs, gelatin, latex, or preservatives. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals such as iron, nickel, cobalt, lithium, and rare earth alloys. They are also free from manufactured products such as microelectronics, electrodes, carbon nanotubes, or nanowire semiconductors.
Is there a fertility or developmental concern with vaccinating children before they reach puberty?
No. There is no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, can cause female or male fertility problems. There is no evidence that vaccine ingredients or antibodies developed following COVID-19 vaccination will cause any problems with becoming pregnant. Similarly, there is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine affects puberty.
How will vaccine safety be monitored in this age group?
COVID-19 vaccines have undergone – and will continue to undergo – the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. CDC and FDA are using new and established safety monitoring systems. Parents and caregivers can register and enroll their child in v-safe, a free and easy-to-use smartphone-based app. V-safe allows them to report how their child is feeling in the days and weeks after vaccination. Additionally, patients, caregivers, and vaccine providers can report serious health events occurring after vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). CDC and FDA review VAERS data to identify potential safety concerns.
Is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines, like flu?
Children can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit. Studies have shown that side effects after getting vaccinated are generally the same when COVID-19 vaccines are given alone or with the flu vaccine.
How does COVID-19 vaccine dosage work for children? What should a parent do if a child will turn 12 years of age in between the first and second doses?
Unlike many medications, vaccine dosages are based on age at the time of vaccination and not size or weight. If a child turns from 11 to 12 years of age in between their first and second dose, the second dose should be the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people 12 years and older. However, if the child receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 through 11 for their second dose, they do not need to repeat the dose.
Additional COVID-19 Vaccine Resources