Children need protection from COVID-19 both for their health and the health of family and friends. New COVID-19 variants and more in-person activities mean the virus is still being transmitted, and kids are still getting sick.
Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available to kids 12-years old and up, getting the vaccine is the best thing to do for your child’s health.
Here’s a checklist as you prepare for your child’s COVID-19 vaccination:
- Be sure your child is up to date on all routine immunizations. If they’re behind on their shots, call your pediatrician’s office to make an appointment to get caught up. There’s no need to wait after these routine shots to get the COVID-19 shot.
- Call your child’s pediatrician or primary care doctor and tell them you’re planning to have your child vaccinated. Ask them questions and share any concerns you may have.
- Schedule your child’s COVID-19 vaccine appointment at your pediatrician’s office, vaccination clinic, pharmacy, community vaccination site, church or school. Some sites may even have walk-in hours.
- To help find a local COVID-19 vaccine provider, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s VaccineFinder or text GETVAX (438829) or VACUNA for Spanish (822862) to receive three vaccine sites on your phone within seconds. Or, Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline at 1-800-232-0233 for those who prefer to get information via phone call.
- Be sure the vaccine brand being given at your location is Pfizer. This is the only currently authorized vaccine for children ages 12-17 in the United States.
- After your child receives their first vaccine, schedule the second dose.
- Keep the paper vaccination card you will receive! Take a photo of it or copy it and keep everything in a safe place.
- Don’t laminate the vaccination card, in case more information needs to be added. To avoid identity theft risk, don’t share a photo of the card on social media
- After the second vaccine dose, send a copy of the card to your pediatrician’s office. The office can include this in your child’s medical record. You may also need to send a copy to your child’s school or college health office.
Your child is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the vaccine. They can get back to activities they enjoy like sports, choir, plays and parties with some added confidence that they are protected!
- The Science Behind the COVID-19 Vaccine: Parent FAQs
- Ask the Pediatrician: When can children get the COVID-19 vaccine?
- Children and COVID-19: State-Level Data Report (AAP.org)
- VaccineFinder (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Last Updated
- American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2021)