Health Advice



Mayo Clinic Q and A: Kids 5-11 and the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Cynthia Weiss, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Regardless of your decisions to participate in virtual or home school, getting children 5-11 vaccinated for COVID-19 helps them return to certain activities that they enjoy or get involved in activities they haven't been able to participate in — all with less risk of getting infected with COVID-19 and less risk of transmitting infection to others.

Side effects from getting vaccinated for COVID-19 are similar to those from other routine childhood vaccinations. They are generally mild and resolve within one or two days on their own. Possible side effects, which are normal signs that their immune system is building protection, can include pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, as well as fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, nausea or fever.

If side effects develop, then pain relievers can be given for comfort. Many children will have no side effects. No serious side effects in this age group were seen during the clinical trial. Ongoing surveillance will occur to detect rare events, like serious allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis, and heart inflammation that have been seen in some other age groups.

It is also important to remember that children are not considered fully immunized until two weeks after their second dose of the vaccine.

Continue to follow your local public health guidance on masking and physical distancing, even after your child has been vaccinated, as it's known that layering these prevention strategies is more effective than any single measure alone.


— Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse , Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Mayo Clinic Children's Center, Rochester, Minnesota


Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.

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