By California Department of Public Health

As adults, our priority is to protect our youth from the dangers of the world, including COVID-19. The best way to protect them from severe illness and death caused by COVID-19 is to get them vaccinated to keep their immune systems strong. The CDC recommends the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for youth aged 5 to 17 which is proven to be safe and effective. 

We understand that some parents just aren’t sure yet, and it’s okay to have questions. With all the information available about the COVID-19 vaccine, it can be hard to tell the difference between factual information and myths. To get accurate answers to your questions and find some peace of mind, it is best to talk to your family healthcare provider about the vaccine. 

Here are three key facts to help start the conversation so that you can make an educated decision to protect your child:

  1. Children need the COVID-19 vaccine just as much as adults. While the virus is less likely to cause severe illness in youth, many have gotten extremely sick after being infected. The COVID-19 vaccine aids in reducing the spread of infection and preventing adverse health complications in children, including hospitalization and death, and the chance of contracting long-COVID or MIS-C. 
  2. The vaccine is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As we have seen in the past, children can spread the virus to others, especially those who they have close contact with. By getting them vaccinated, the chance of your child contracting and spreading the virus reduces greatly. 
  3. The dosage is modified for children aged 5 to 11. Children between the ages of 5 and 11 receive lower dosages of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.  The vaccine dose for this group is 10 micrograms per dose, while people 12 years and older receive about 30 micrograms per dose. The smaller children’s immune systems will create the same response to lower doses of the vaccine as older children and adults’ immune systems do with the larger dose. 

If you have other questions or concerns, it’s best to write them out so you will remember what you want to ask your child’s doctor. You and your healthcare provider have the same goal in mind: to keep your child safe. The COVID-19 vaccine is the first step to ensuring safety and giving our children a fighting chance against the virus.