COVID-19 vaccines for kids: Q&A

By Walgreens Sep 27, 2022 • 4 min

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live. Now that vaccines are readily available and proven effective, we can have more peace of mind resuming normal activities with friends and family. Children also have protection from COVID-19, thanks to a variety of age-appropriate vaccine doses authorized by the CDC. Yet some questions remain about the safety and efficacy associated with pediatric COVID-19 vaccines, specifically short- and long-term side effects. Our clinical experts answered frequently asked questions by parents and guardians to help address your concerns.

Q: The vaccine is still relatively new—has it been tested enough to be safe for my family?

A: While the COVID-19 vaccines are relatively new, the technology used to develop them has been decades in the making, rigorously tested and proven effective. The CDC monitors the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines (and all other vaccines) after they are authorized and approved for use. This includes monitoring the risk of potential adverse events after vaccination— including myocarditis and pericarditis in children.

Q: Will the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine impact my child’s future fertility or cause permanent genetic shifts?

A: There are no studies that show either compromised fertility or permanent genetic shifts associated with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Q: Should I be concerned about research suggesting the rare possibility that young men and boys will develop myocarditis or pericarditis?

A: Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) are extremely rare among children, and no severe side effects have been observed among clinical trial participants related to the vaccine.

Q: Will my child have to miss school or sporting and social events due to potential side effects from the vaccine?

A: Most reported side effects are on the milder side among children receiving the vaccine, and severe reactions are unusual. Flu-like symptoms, the kind that make kids feel sick, are less common: Only 8% of kids reported having fever after vaccination, 5% had diarrhea and 2% experienced vomiting. And only 10% of kids had chills, while 12% experienced muscle pain and 5% had joint pain.

Q: I had side effects after getting vaccinated. Will my child experience the same?

A: The COVID-19 vaccine dose given to children is smaller than the dose given to adults and teens. Reported side effects have been mild. The most common side effects kids experienced were pain at the injection site (71% to 74% of children experienced this), followed by fatigue (39% of kids), headache (28%), redness (19%) and swelling (15%) at the injection site.

To schedule your child's COVID-19 vaccine, visit Ask your pediatrician if you have additional concerns about whether the COVID-19 vaccine is right for your child.

Clinically reviewed April 2022.