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COVID-19 Vaccination for Children

Although fewer children have been infected with COVID-19 compared to adults so far during the pandemic, rates of infection in younger age groups have increased significantly in recent months. Children can:

  • Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Get sick from COVID-19
  • Be hospitalized, seriously ill, or die from COVID-19
  • Spread COVID-19 to others

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) now recommends that children 5 years and older who do not have contraindications get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19.

People who are fully vaccinated can resume activities that they did prior to the pandemic. Learn more about what you and your child or teen can do when you have been fully vaccinated.

Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. As with most viruses, children are often a significant source of COVID-19 spread in the community, because they may have milder symptoms and interact closely with adults, some of whom may be elderly or vulnerable in other ways.

Children 5 years and older are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. It was recently authorized by the FDA for emergency use in children ages 5-11 years; it was already approved for children age 12 – 17. Studies found the vaccine to be safe and effective in these age groups.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children 5-11 is a two-dose series, 3 weeks apart, but is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used for individuals 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms).

For more information about the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children age 5-11:

Talk to your child’s healthcare provider about getting your child vaccinated against COVID-19. It is safe to receive COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as the flu vaccine and other vaccinations.

Find a COVID-19 Vaccine for Your Child

  • Check your local pharmacies to see if vaccination walk-ins or appointments for children are available.
  • Check with your child’s healthcare provider about whether they offer COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Children age 12-17 may receive the Pfizer vaccine at the Health Department’s weekly on-site clinics.
  • Register for one of the Health Department’s COVID-19 vaccine clinics for children ages 5-11 only.

Registration tips:

  • Click the Spanish button in the top right corner to complete the registration in Spanish.
  • Only the required fields (marked with a red star) should be completed.
  • Insurance should be marked “no insurance” as we are not billing for this service.
  • If you do not have an email, you can use a friend or family member’s email address, or write “noemail@none.com“. If you have an email, please type it carefully. You will receive confirmation and follow up emails at this email address.
  • Complete all the health questions on both sides of the registration screen. These will be reviewed by our screeners and you will be called if there are any questions.
  • If you have more than one child and want to register them at the same time, after completing the health questions for child #1, select the purple button at the bottom marked “Save and Add a Child/Dependent.” You can add multiple children for the same appointment time and complete the registration and consent for all children.
  • After you register, please watch your email for a message confirming your appointment.
  • You must wear a face mask while in the vaccination clinic, as it is considered a medical facility.
  • Please bring a photo ID to the clinic. If you do not have one, you can sign an affidavit.
  • You can schedule your child’s second dose at the 1st dose clinic after completing dose 1.
  • See our After Vaccination page for more information.
  • Get your digital vaccine card for free from VaccineCheck.

Click a link below to register for a first dose COVID-19 vaccination clinic for children ages 5-11 only.

(2nd dose dates listed for information only, registration for 2nd dose clinics will be available at 1st dose clinics.)

Wednesday, December 15th – Manchester VFD Social Hall, 3:30 pm – 7:30 pm

     **2nd Dose clinic – January 5th

Thursday, December 16th – Winfield VFD Social Hall, 3:30 pm – 7:30 pm

     **2nd Dose clinic – January 6th

Past clinics:

Monday, November 8th – Taneytown VFD Social Hall, 3:30 pm – 7:30 pm; 2nd Dose clinic on November 29th

Saturday, November 13th – Winters Mill High School, 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm; 2nd Dose clinic – December 4th

Saturday, November 20th – South Carroll High School, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm; 2nd Dose clinic – December 11th

To learn more about what to expect after your child receives the COVID-19 vaccine, visit our After Vaccination page.

Safety and Effectiveness Data for Pfizer Vaccine in Adolescents Age 5-11 – FDA

Key points for parents and caregivers:

  • Effectiveness: Immune responses of children 5 through 11 years of age were comparable to those of individuals 16 through 25 years of age. In addition, the vaccine was found to be 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5 through 11.
  • Safety: The vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 3,100 children age 5 through 11 who received the vaccine and no serious side effects have been detected in the ongoing study.
  • In the U.S., COVID-19 cases in children 5 through 11 years of age make up 39% of cases in individuals younger than 18 years of age. According to the CDC, approximately 8,300 COVID-19 cases in children 5 through 11 years of age resulted in hospitalization. As of Oct. 17, 691 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the U.S. in individuals less than 18 years of age, with 146 deaths in the 5 through 11 years age group.

Safety and Effectiveness Data for Pfizer Vaccine in Adolescents Age 12-15 – FDA

Safety:

  • 2,260 adolescents ages 12 through 15 years old enrolled in an ongoing randomized, controlled clinical trial
  • Half received the Pfizer vaccine and half received a placebo
  • Common side effects were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever and joint pain.

Effectiveness:

  • Immune response to the vaccine was at least as good in adolescents ages 12-15 as in ages 16-25.
  • No cases of COVID-19 occurred among 1,005 vaccine recipients and 16 cases of COVID-19 occurred among 978 placebo recipients; the vaccine was 100% effective in preventing COVID-19.
  • More information is needed to determine if the vaccine can prevent transmission of the virus from person to person and how long the vaccine will provide protection.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine should not be given to anyone with a known history of a severe allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis—to any component of the vaccine. Ingredients and other information on allergic reactions can be found in Pfizer’s Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers.

For more information on how the COVID-19 vaccine works, and common concerns, talk to your child’s healthcare provider, and visit:

COVID-19 Vaccines FAQ from the American Academy of Pediatrics

  • This Q&A covers the types of vaccines, safety and effectiveness, side effects, and other common concerns. Here are two questions from the Q&A:

Do mRNA vaccines change your DNA?

No, the mRNA actually doesn’t interact with your DNA at all. DNA is your genetic material and it’s stored in the nucleus of a cell. The mRNA in the vaccines doesn’t get into the nucleus. And once your immune cells have used the instructions, they break down the mRNA and discard it.

What about long-term side effects?

The CDC says this is unlikely. We have years of research and monitoring on other vaccinations that show side effects almost always happen within six weeks of getting a vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccines: Myth Versus Fact – Johns Hopkins Medicine

  • This fact sheet addresses some common myths about COVID-19 vaccines. Here are 3:

MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine can affect women’s fertility.

FACT: The COVID-19 vaccine will not affect fertility. The truth is that the COVID-19 vaccine encourages the body to create copies of the spike protein found on the coronavirus’s surface. This “teaches” the body’s immune system to fight the virus that has that specific spike protein on it.

Confusion arose when a false report surfaced on social media, saying that the spike protein on this coronavirus was the same as another spike protein called syncitin-1 that is involved in the growth and attachment of the placenta during pregnancy. The false report said that getting the COVID-19 vaccine would cause a woman’s body to fight this different spike protein and affect her fertility. The two spike proteins are completely different and distinct, and getting the COVID-19 vaccine will not affect the fertility of women who are seeking to become pregnant, including through in vitro fertilization methods. During the Pfizer vaccine tests, 23 women volunteers involved in the study became pregnant, and the only one who suffered a pregnancy loss had not received the actual vaccine, but a placebo.

Getting COVID-19, on the other hand, can have potentially serious impact on pregnancy and the mother’s health. Learn more about coronavirus and pregnancy. Johns Hopkins Medicine encourages women to reach out to their medical providers to discuss other questions they have about COVID-19 as it relates to fertility or pregnancy.

MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine enters your cells and changes your DNA.

FACT: The two COVID-19 vaccines available to us are designed to help your body’s immune system fight the coronavirus. The messenger RNA from two of the first types of COVID-19 vaccines does enter cells, but not the nucleus of the cells where DNA resides. The mRNA does its job to cause the cell to make protein to stimulate the immune system, and then it quickly breaks down — without affecting your DNA.

MYTH: The messenger RNA technology used to make the COVID-19 vaccine is brand new.

FACT: The mRNA technology behind the new coronavirus vaccines has been in development for almost two decades. Vaccine makers created the technology to help them respond quickly to a new pandemic illness, such as COVID-19.