Answers to FAQs on youth COVID-19 vaccination
School districts across the country have welcomed back students in-person. However, with the ongoing presence of the Delta variant, having more people vaccinated will play a significant role in keeping children safe and allowing them to remain in the classroom. Vaccination also helps prevent the development of new and more dangerous COVID-19 variants that could impact us all. Earlier this year, children ages 12-17 became eligible to receive the vaccine. The following answers to FAQs can provide you with practical guidance to help you make decisions on COVID-19 vaccinations for youth.
Is the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents ages 12-15 the same vaccine authorized for use in people 16 and older?
- Yes. Pfizer, Inc. tested the same COVID-19 vaccine in a clinical trial in people 12 through 15.
Why should people 12-17 years old get the COVID-19 vaccine?
- Vaccination is one of the best ways to protect people against COVID-19. The most recent studies show that currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines help prevent contracting COVID-19, and if contracted, lower the risk of hospitalization and death from the virus and its potentially serious complications. The U.S. is currently experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases, and more adolescents are becoming ill and being hospitalized during this surge.
Can kids ages 12-17 get vaccines for other illnesses at the same time as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine?
- Yes. According to the CDC, if a person aged 12-17 is receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, they can receive routinely recommended vaccines, such as the flu vaccine, at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine.
What are the potential side effects younger people might experience?
- Side effects for younger people remain consistent with those experienced by people 18 and older. The most commonly reported side effects are pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever, and joint pain. While some people experience side effects following any vaccination, not everyone’s experience will be the same – and some people may not experience any side effects.
The following resources will be useful in answering any additional questions you may have about COVID-19 vaccines, or direct you to your nearest vaccination site:
- Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
- US Department of Health and Human Services
- It’s Up to You campaign: www.GetVaccineAnswers.org
- www.DeTiDepende.org (for Spanish speakers)
- Immunize Colorado
- Colorado Vaccine Equity Task Force: www.vaccineequity.org