COVID-19 Vaccine Safety in Children and Teens

What You Need to Know

  • Tens of millions of children and teens ages 5 through 17 years have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Through continued safety monitoring, COVID-19 vaccination has been found safe for children and teens.
  • The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks.
  • CDC recommends everyone ages 5 years and older get vaccinated against COVID-19 and everyone ages 12 years and older should also get a COVID-19 booster shot.

Clinical Trials and Ongoing Safety Monitoring Show That COVID-19 Vaccination Is Safe for Children and Teens

Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination, scientists conducted clinical trials with thousands of children and teens to make sure the vaccine is safe and effective. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency authorization for use in everyone ages 5 through 15 years and full approval for use in everyone ages 16 years and older. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines were developed and approved.

COVID-19 vaccines are being monitored with the most comprehensive and intense vaccine safety monitoring program in U.S. history. CDC monitors all COVID-19 vaccines after they are authorized or approved for use. CDC and FDA will continue to monitor vaccines, keep people informed of findings, and use data to make COVID-19 vaccination recommendations.

Serious Health Events after COVID-19 Vaccination Are Rare

Serious reactions after COVID-19 vaccination in children and teens are rare. When they are reported, serious reactions most frequently occur the day after vaccination.

Rare cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) have been reported after children and teens got the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. New studies have shown the rare risk of myocarditis and pericarditis associated with mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna)—mostly among males between the ages of 12 and 39 years—may be further reduced with a longer time between the first and second dose.

A severe allergic reaction, like anaphylaxis, may happen after any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination, but this is rare. If your child experiences a severe allergic reaction after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine providers can rapidly provide care and call for emergency medical services, if needed.

If your child gets a COVID-19 vaccine and you think they might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination provider site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911.

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