Now that we have moved beyond the initial COVID-19 vaccine allocation plans in most states, it should be easy for your kids to get vaccinated and protected, even if they don’t fall into any high risk groups.
A good supply of COVID-19 vaccine in most areas should also help make it easy.
Can I Get a COVID-19 Vaccine for My Kids?
Before you even start looking for a COVID-19 vaccine dose for your kids, you should understand that:
- the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has an EUA for those 16 years and above
- the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has an EUA for those 18 years and above
“Current evidence on which underlying medical conditions in children are associated with increased risk is limited. Children with the following conditions might be at increased risk for severe illness: obesity, medical complexity, severe genetic disorders, severe neurologic disorders, inherited metabolic disorders, sickle cell disease, congenital (since birth) heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, asthma and other chronic lung disease, and immunosuppression due to malignancy or immune-weakening medications.”People with Certain Medical Conditions at Increased Risk for Severe COVID-19
So for now, you will have to wait to get kids under age 16 years vaccinated, unless they participate in a clinical trial.
You will also want to make sure that your child doesn’t have any contraindications or precautions to getting vaccinated:
- your COVID-19 vaccine should be given at least 14 days before or after other vaccines, like your teen dose of Tdap, HPV, or meningococcal vaccine, although you wouldn’t have to repeat any of these vaccines if you inadvertently gave them too close together
- a history of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose or to a component of the COVID-19 vaccine (contraindication)
- a history of an immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a previous dose or known (diagnosed) allergy to a component of the vaccine (contraindication)
- a history of an immediate allergic reaction to any other vaccine or injectable therapy (precaution)
- a history of a reaction to a vaccine or injectable therapy that contains multiple components, one of which is a vaccine component, but in whom it is unknown which component elicited the immediate allergic reaction (precaution)
- a history of contraindication to one type of the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., mRNA) = a precaution to the other (e.g., Janssen viral vector)
While that might sound confusing, filling out a Prevaccination Checklist for COVID-19 Vaccines can help make sure that your child can safely get vaccinated.
And know that very soon, the age indication for the Pfizer vaccine should be lowered to 12 years though and perhaps to age 2 years by this fall!
Where Can I Find a COVID-19 Vaccine for My Kids?
So what do you do once you have determined that your kids should get a COVID-19 vaccine (they are old enough and don’t have a contraindication), where do you get it?
Unfortunately, getting your kids a COVID-19 vaccine probably isn’t going to be as easy as just calling your pediatrician and going in for the shot. Many pediatricians have not been allocated any COVID-19 vaccine yet.
To get your kids vaccinated, you will likely have to search for a dose in your community.
It might help to:
- check with your state health department
- check with your county health department
- search for a nearby COVID-19 vaccination hub (larger vaccination sites)
- search for a nearby COVID-19 vaccination clinic or provider
And it will definitely help to keep trying, as it will be some time before COVID-19 vaccines are in such good supply that getting vaccinated is a quick and easy process.
More on COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids
- COVID-19 Vaccination Goals
- COVID-19 Vaccination Questions and Answers
- The Truth About COVID-19 Vaccines
- COVID-19 Vaccines for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Moms
- Where Are the Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Trials?
- Did You Miss Your Second Dose of COVID Vaccine?
- Where Can I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine Near Me?
- CDC – When Vaccine is Limited, Who Should Get Vaccinated First?
- CDC – Evidence Table for COVID-19 Vaccines Allocation in Phases 1b and 1c of the Vaccination Program
- CDC – People with Certain Medical Conditions at Increased Risk for Severe COVID-19
- CDC – People with Developmental and Behavioral Disorders at Increased Risk for Severe COVID-19
- What is MDA doing to ensure that the NMD community will get priority access to COVID-19 vaccines?
- CF Foundation Strongly Supports COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations for People Living With Cystic Fibrosis
- MARAC Advisory Statement: COVID-19 Vaccines and Sickle Cell Disease