What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11 years old

Published: Thursday, November 4, 2021
NGMC’s Medical Director of Infectious Disease Medicine

The CDC has recommended, and the FDA has authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 through 11 years old, and we know you may have questions. Rest assured that our Northeast Georgia Physicians Group providers have your child’s best interests at heart and we’re willing to answer questions or talk through any concerns you have.

Here’s what you need to know about the vaccine for your child:

Talk to your child’s pediatrician or primary care provider.

  • This is always the first step in making an important healthcare decision. Your child’s doctor knows them well and will help make a recommendation on what is best for your child. 
  • It’s good to talk through things before making this decision so your child’s doctor is informed and can determine where symptoms might be coming from should they arise.
  • If your child already had COVID-19, their doctor can talk with you about the best time to get the vaccine.

Find a vaccination site administering the right vaccine.

  • Pfizer is the only vaccine that has been approved for children 5-11 years old.
  • Our NGPG Pediatric practices and Family Medicine practices are offering the vaccine to children 5-11.
  • Your child does not need to be a patient of NGPG to receive the vaccine at one of our NGPG practices.

About the vaccine:

  • Children 5-11 years old will still receive a two-dose series of the COVID-19 vaccine, administered three weeks apart – just like older children and adults. However, each dose of this vaccine will be 1/3 of what those 12 years and older receive. A smaller needle will also be used.
  • After a study of more than 3,000 children ages 5-11, no serious side effects were detected from the vaccine. The vaccine was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19.

During the vaccination appointment:

  • A parent or guardian will need to sign a consent form for anyone 5-11 who is getting the vaccine.
  • Your child will need to stay for an observation period of 20 minutes after being vaccinated to ensure there are no serious side effects.
  • Remember to confirm the date for the second shot, and schedule that appointment if possible.

After the vaccine:

  • Your child may experience symptoms like what most people experience. Common side effects include soreness or inflammation at the injection site, headache, fever, or muscle aches. These symptoms usually go away on their own within a week.
  • Remember, the vaccine is not fully effective until two weeks after the final COVID-19 shot. Until then, your child should continue to follow the 3Ws – wearing their mask, washing their hands, and watching their distance.