What you need to know
Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11
Yes. In Pfizer’s clinical trials, the most common side effects were pain at the point of injection (sore arm), fatigue and headache. No serious safety concerns related to the vaccine were observed.
Vaccinating your child is the best way of protecting them from serious COVID-19 illness and preventing them from spreading the virus to others. Clinical trials of the Pfizer vaccine showed high efficacy among 5- to 11-year-olds with no serious side effects. If you have questions about the vaccine in relation to specific aspects of your child’s health, we encourage you to contact your pediatrician.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine for all children ages 5 to 11 on Nov. 2, 2021.
Currently, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been authorized for use with this age group.
Two. The doses are given three weeks apart.
Yes. Children ages 5 to 11 receive two 10-microgram doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which is about one-third of the adult dose.
Among children who received the Pfizer vaccine during clinical trials, the most common side effects were pain at the point of injection (sore arm), fatigue and headache. No serious safety concerns related to the vaccine were observed.
Very effective. In Pfizer’s clinical trial, the vaccine showed a 91% efficacy rate in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infections among 5- to 11-year-olds.
Shots for 5- to 11-year-olds will be given at all UW Medicine hospitals and some UW Neighborhood Clinics. Visit our vaccine page to find the location nearest you.
Authorized adults who may consent for minors include:
- Parent (unless court order is provided to Public Health which deprives the parent of ability to consent)
- Adult who has court permission to make healthcare decisions for the minor (legal guardian, custodian, out-of-home placement order)
- Alternative caregiver (a competent adult to whom a parent has granted written permission to make healthcare decisions for the minor)
- Kinship caregiver (a competent adult relative representing self as responsible for the minor’s healthcare)
- Special rule for homeless children (consent may be obtained from a school nurse, school counselor or homeless student liaison for necessary, nonemergency care such as vaccination where the child is not under the care of a parent, custodian, guardian or the Department of Children, Youth, and Families)
Yes, but only if authorized adult consent has been given and documented. Consent is given when booking an appointment online or by phone. For walk-in appointments (when available), a consent form will be provided on-site.
Yes. While natural immunity offers some protection, we do not know how long it lasts. Getting vaccinated remains the most effective way of preventing serious cases of COVID-19 and reducing the spread of the virus in our community.
Masking remains an important safety protocol and continues to be required in indoor public spaces in King County. We recommend all children and adults follow the CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated people in places where masks are not required.
Yes. It is safe for your child to get the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including the flu shot, at the same time.