COVID is still spreading. And the virus that causes COVID changes over time. That's why getting the vaccine and updated is the best thing 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 COVID vaccines are recommended for kids age 6 months and older. Nearly 200,000 children and teens younger than 18 years old have been hospitalized with COVID since August 2020. The vaccine provides broad protection against serious illness.
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 if or when your child should get another dose.
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 (if needed) after your child receives their vaccine. Make sure that your pediatrician's office has a record of your child’s COVID vaccination status. Your child's child care, preschool, school or college health office also may need a copy of the immunization record.
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.
Everyone age 6 months and older should receive at least one 2023-2024 COVID vaccine to be considered up to date. Some people (6 months through 4 years or immunocompromised) may need more than one dose to be considered up to date.
Most insurance plans and the Vaccines for Children program (www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/parents) will cover the vaccine at no cost to patients. The Bridge Access Program (www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/bridge) provides no-cost access to the vaccines for adults without insurance or whose insurance will not provide no-cost coverage.
Visit www.HealthyChildren.org for more information.
Adapted from the HealthyChildren.org article COVID Vaccine Checklist for Kids (9/13/2023).
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.