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April 01, 2023
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COVID-19 Vaccine for Children and Youth

COVID-19 Vaccine for Children and Youth

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  recommends everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination, including all primary series doses and boosters for their age group:

  • Ages 6 months through 4 years should get all COVID-19 primary series doses,
  • Ages 5 years and older should get all primary series doses, and updated COVID-19 boosters if eligible.

For information on the number of doses required for the primary series and boosters for specific age groups and health conditions, visit the CDC Stay Up to Date with Your COVID-19 Vaccines webpage.

Additional information from the Oregon Health Authority is available for comparing COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months through 5 years old.

Visit the Safe+Strong for families for additional information and support for parents and families. 

Where to Get Vaccinated

  • Reach out to your doctor’s office, child’s pediatrician or pharmacy
  • Text ORCOVID to 898211 (English and Spanish) or email (language help available);
  • Call 211 or 1-866-698-6155, toll-free, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, including holidays
  • Visit Where to get vaccinated in Jackson County website

My child is under 6 months of age. Without a vaccine to protect them, what can I do?

  • Vaccinate yourself and those who spend time with your child.
  • Breastfeed. Mother’s antibodies spread via breastmilk to baby.
  • If you’re still pregnant, get vaccinated while pregnant. The antibodies are passed to your baby. Babies born to vaccinated mothers are far less likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 or to end up hospitalized for COVID-19.

Fact Sheets for Recipients and Caregivers




Why should children get vaccinated?

A COVID-19 vaccination can:

  • Keep your child from getting seriously sick even if they do get COVID-19
  • Keep your child in school and other activities and reduce child care challenges. Fully vaccinated children do not need to quarantine if exposed to someone with COVID-19, unless they have symptoms
  • Lower the chance of spreading COVID-19 to others

Parents may have questions and mixed feelings

Making the decision to vaccinate your child can be stressful. It can be helpful to take some time, make a list of questions, and talk to a trusted healthcare provider.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for children?

Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. Then, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for everyone 6 months and older.

Ongoing safety monitoring shows that COVID-19 vaccination continues to be safe for children. The known risks of COVID-19 and possible severe complications outweigh the potential risks of having a rare, adverse reaction to vaccination.

Learn more about the safety of COVID-19 vaccination for children.

Enroll your child in v-safe.  After getting your child vaccinated, use v-safe to get health cehck-ins and share how your child feels after COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to monitor the vaccine closely and follow up on any reported side effects.

My child already had COVID

Prior infection does not guarantee protection against future infection.

  • Children tend to have lower levels of protection after infection compared to adults.
  • An Omicron infection appears to create less protection against future variants.
  • But a vaccination after a COVID-19 infection provides the highest level of protection we know of.

Kids don’t get seriously sick or die from COVID

Most kids get mild cases of COVID-19.

  • But some children do get very sick. COVID-19 is one of the top 10 causes of death in all age groups, including children.
  • We can’t predict which children will get very sick. During Omicron, 50-69% of children ages 0-4 who were hospitalized for COVID-19 had no underlying risk factors.
    • Five times as many children ages 0-4 were hospitalized during Omicron as during Delta. 1 in 4 of those children required care in the Intensive Care Unit.
    • The number of children hospitalized for COVID-19 has increased each year of the pandemic.

Side effects

Common side effects, after any vaccine, are normal signs that the body is building protection.  Most side effects will go away after a few days. If they do not go away, call your doctor. If you don't have a doctor, call 211.

Common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine can include:

  • a sore, red or swollen arm
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • fever, or
  • nausea

Call your provider if your child has chest pain, ongoing fatigue, or trouble breathing.

Visit the CDC for tips on how to relieve vaccine side effects

Myocarditis and other rare, but serious, complications

The risk of a serious adverse reaction after the COVID-19 vaccine is very low.

Myocarditis (heart inflammation) is a rare, but serious, condition that has developed in some teens and young adults (1 in 50,000) after a COVID-19 vaccine.

Myocarditis is expected to be less common in younger children after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine because of the lower vaccine dose. There were no myocarditis cases reported in the clinic trials for children 6 months to 5 years of age.

The risk of developing myocarditis after a COVID-19 infection is much higher than the risk of developing myocarditis after the vaccine.

It is rare, but some people have had a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine. All of these people received medical help right away. Just like adults, children and adolescents are asked to remain 15-30 minutes after the shot is given, to monitor for allergic reactions.

Parent or guardian consent

Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied throughout the vaccine process by either a parent, a guardian or someone designated by the parent/guardian.

  • If someone other than a parent or guardian accompanies the a child under the age of 14, they will need to provide proof of parental/guardian consent.

15-17 year-olds do not need to be accompanied and do not require parental consent in the state of Oregon. We encourage adolescents to involve a parent or other trusted adult in their health care; however, in Oregon, youth at age 15+ can make their own decisions to get a vaccine.