Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have other health concerns?
My child is turning 12 soon. Should they get their COVID vaccine now, or wait until after their birthday to get an adult dose?
Public health recommends that everyone receive all of the COVID-19 vaccines they are eligible for, following the recommended schedule. Parents and caregivers should not delay a vaccination to wait for their child’s next birthday.
The Pfizer vaccine is recommended for children aged 5 to 17 because of the lower risk of inflammation of the heart and the lining of heart (myocarditis/pericarditis) with this vaccine.
Should I get the monovalent or bivalent booster vaccine?
The bivalent vaccine provides protection against two strains of the COVID-19 virus and is approved for people aged 12 and older.
Because these vaccines provide the broadest protection possible, they are recommended by public health for everyone in that age group.
Children aged 5 to 11 are eligible to receive a booster dose of the original COVID-19 vaccine, which is approved and recommended for them.
Children 6 months to 4 years of age are not currently eligible to receive a booster dose.
Why should my child be vaccinated against COVID-19?
While most infected children and youth have mild symptoms and are less likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, some may:
- require hospitalization for complications, such as difficulty breathing.
- experience longer-term effects if they do get infected.
- get a rare but serious complication called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). This is a condition that can occur several weeks after COVID-19. MIS-C involves inflammation in the body that can affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs. Symptoms may include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and skin rash.
Getting children in your care vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine will increase their protection against severe COVID-19 illness.
Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine from official sources.