Vaccines for Infants, Toddlers, and Children
In California, it is recommended that everyone aged 6 months and older get a COVID-19 vaccine, and everyone aged 5 and older get a booster dose when eligible, to help protect against severe outcomes of COVID-19. Vaccinating children can help protect family members who are at higher risk for getting sick. Vaccination can help keep kids in school and safely participating in group activities. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been authorized for children aged 6 months and older. COVID-19 vaccine dosage varies by the age of the child on the day their vaccine dose.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children contains the same active ingredients as the vaccine given to people aged 12 and older.
Youth aged 12 and older receive the same dose as adults
Children aged 5 – 11 receive a lower dose than those 12 and older.
Infants and toddlers aged 6 months – 4 years receive a lower dose than children aged 5 – 11.
The Moderna vaccine for children contains the same active ingredients as the vaccine given to people aged 18 and older.
Youth aged 12 – 17 receive the same dose as those aged 18 and older.
Youth aged 6 – 11 receive a lower dose than those aged 12 – 17.
Infants and toddlers aged 6 months – 5 years receive a lower dose than children aged 6 – 11.
The COVID-19 vaccine has been proven safe and effective for children based on data from clinical trials. All COVID-19 vaccines continue to be rigorously monitored.
People have rarely experienced severe health effects after COVID-19 vaccination.
Children may experience side effects like pain and swelling where the shot was given, or headache, fatigue, and fever. These symptoms should go away in a few days.
Everyone aged 5 and older who received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least five months ago; and everyone aged 18 and older who received the second dose of the Moderna vaccine at least five months ago, or the J&J vaccine two months ago, should get their first booster dose.