COVID: How to Prepare for Your Child’s COVID Vaccination
Print, Share, or View Spanish version of this article
COVID is still spreading. And the virus that causes COVID changes over time. That's why getting the vaccine and updated "bivalent" shot are the best things to do to keep your kids healthy. It also helps make sure that your kids can keep attending child care, school and other activities that are so important for their physical and mental health.
Updated bivalent COVID vaccines are recommended for kids age 6 months and older. The bivalent vaccine provides broad protection against the original COVID virus strain and the omicron variant. First, all kids age 6 months and older should get the original COVID vaccines (primary series doses). Next, they can get the updated bivalent shot.
Your child will be ready to resist infection—and it's an important way to protect the health of others.
A vaccine for babies, kids & teens
The COVID vaccine dose your child will get is based on their age. Your pediatrician can explain which vaccine is right for your baby, child or teen. They can also advise when your child should get the bivalent booster.
Here's a checklist as you prepare for your child's COVID vaccination:
Call your child's pediatrician to schedule your child's COVID vaccine appointment. Your child can also receive routine shots at the same appointment for the COVID shot. Ask if your child is caught up on all recommended immunizations.
Talk with your child before the appointment. Many parents may have concerns about how their child might act when they need a shot. But there are simple ways to help make it a positive, calm experience.
Schedule the next dose after your child receives their vaccine. Make sure that your pediatrician's office has a copy of the COVID vaccination card in your child's medical record. Your child's child care, preschool, school or college health office also may need a copy of the card.
If your child has a medical condition or takes medicine that weakens the immune system, another dose may be recommended. Check with your pediatrician for details.
Keep the paper vaccination card you will receive! Don't laminate the vaccination card, in case more information needs to be added. Ask your vaccination provider if they offer access to a QR code or digital copy of your COVID vaccination card along with your paper card. Take a photo of the card or copy it and keep everything in a safe place.
Sign up for COVID vaccine safety text program
Parents and guardians: Sign your child up for COVID-19 vaccination safety checks with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) v-safe program at www.cdc.gov/vsafe. V-safe sends text messages with links to web surveys, allowing you to share how your child is feeling after vaccination. If you report seeking medical care during a health check-in, the CDC will follow up by phone.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all eligible infants, children and adults age 6 months and older should get COVID vaccines. People are considered up to date if they have received all recommended doses and boosters for their age. Encourage your child to keep doing their part to protect others. Then they can get back to activities they enjoy like holiday fun, travel and playing with friends.
For more information
American Academy of Pediatrics
www.aap.org and www.HealthyChildren.org
Adapted from the HealthyChildren.org article COVID Vaccine Checklist for Kids (12/8/2022).
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.
In all aspects of its publishing program (writing, review, and production), the AAP is committed to promoting principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Any websites, brand names, products, or manufacturers are mentioned for informational and identification purposes only and do not imply an endorsement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP is not responsible for the content of external resources. Information was current at the time of publication. The information contained in this publication should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
AAP Feed run on 3/6/2023 7:42:13 AM.
Article information last modified on 3/6/2023 7:42:14 AM.