West Virginians ages 5-11 are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine. Click here for more information.
Which COVID-19 vaccine can my 5-11 year-old child get?
Those 5-11 years of age are eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, and those 12-17 are eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Those 18 years of age and older may receive the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. COVID-19 vaccination is not yet authorized for those under age 5.
Are kids at risk of getting COVID-19?
Yes. Children can get COVID-19, can spread COVID-19 to others, can have short and long-term health complications even from mild cases, can get very sick from COVID-19, and in some situations, the complications from infection can lead to death. Although children and adolescents are typically at lower risk than adults of becoming severely ill or hospitalized from COVID-19, it is still possible.
Children who have underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and any child can experience severe disease. Children who become sick with COVID-19 can also develop serious complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome or MIS-C.
What are the benefits of getting my child vaccinated against COVID-19?
Choosing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, along with other preventative measures, can help protect children from COVID-19.
Vaccines are safe and effective. Similar to what was seen in adult vaccine trials, vaccination in pediatric clinical trials was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5-11, and no serious side effects have been reported.
Vaccinating children can help protect other family members who are not eligible for vaccination or families who are at risk of getting very sick if infected.
Is the dosage for the COVID-19 vaccine different for children ages 5-11?
Yes. Children ages 5-11 should receive the age-appropriate vaccine formulation (Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine) regardless of their size or weight.
Do 5-11 year-olds need a second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. The Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric formulation for children ages 5-11 is a 2-dose vaccination series recommended at least 3 weeks apart.
Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine for my 5-11 year-old child?
Many locations have COVID-19 vaccines readily available. Check with your child’s healthcare provider, health department, or your local pharmacy to see whether they offer COVID-19 pediatric vaccination. West Virginia schools are also offering COVID-19 vaccines to students at school vaccination clinics or at school-based health clinics. You can find a COVID-19 vaccine location near you by visiting vaccines.gov. Anyone needing assistance finding a COVID-19 vaccine location can call the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965.
For more information, visit the CDC’s page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/children-teens.html and information on West Virginia’s health alert here: https://oeps.wv.gov/healthalerts/Documents/WV/WVHAN_183.pdf