Expert Q&A: COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids - Nemours Blog


Expert Q&A: COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids

Expert Question and Answer

In this video, recorded on June 2, 2021, Kenneth Alexander, MD, PhD, Division Chief, Infectious Diseases at Nemours Children’s Hospital, and April Novotny, RN, MSN, CEN, CENP, Chief Nurse Executive and Vice President of Clinical Services at Lakeland Regional Health, share the latest updates on the COVID-19 vaccine for kids, as well as insights on how COVID-19 has been impacting children and what parents can do to help their children have a safe summer and a successful return to school in the fall.

Learn more about:

  • How COVID-19 is impacting kids today
  • How to talk with your teen about the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Why your child shouldn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as routine vaccines
  • Tips for safely rejoining society after being vaccinated

If you have a question for Dr. Alexander, post it in the comments section on Facebook.

If my child already had covid, do they still need the vaccine? 

Yes. Experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if your child already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—they could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

Is the dosage different for different sizes of kids?

No, the amount given is the same for everyone. The amount of vaccine material in each dosage is incredibly small. Learn more about vaccines for children and teens from the CDC.

Are there long term side effects from the vaccine?

That’s something we don’t know yet. However, given the history of vaccines, vaccines are not known to cause any long term side effects. Like adults, children may have some side effects after COVID-19 vaccination. These side effects may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Children 12 years and older are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, including studies in children 12 years and older. Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine.

With masking becoming optional post vaccination should children still wear masks when they return to school in the fall?

Schools will probably continue to recommend masking. We recommend your kids still wear masks even if vaccinated because we don’t know whether others coming in contact with your children are vaccinated. Learn CDC guidance for schools and child care programs.

When will younger children be able to receive the vaccine?

Vaccine manufacturers will continue trials for younger children. Children younger than 12 may be able to get vaccinated by fall 2021. 

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