Frequently asked questions about kids and COVID vaccines, answered by pediatrician Dr. Judith Flores.

August 18, 2021

Question: Are young people even at risk of getting COVID-19?

Dr. Flores: Over the past weeks, the number of children and young people who have been infected with COVID has been increasing at an alarming rate and children with COVID are being hospitalized every day. Getting vaccinated is the best protection for kids over 12 years old and will help stop the development of potentially dangerous variants.

Question: Can young people suffer from the same “long-COVID” symptoms as adults?


Dr. Flores: It’s important to remember that having COVID-19 is associated with many long-term effects, even in young adults. The consequences to the heart, lungs, brain and other systems in the body can seriously impair their health and ability to function.

Question: Have COVID vaccines been tested for children under 18?


Dr. Flores: After clinical trials with thousands of children between 12-18 years old, the Pfizer vaccine was proven to be effective and was approved for emergency use authorization. The Pfizer vaccine has already been given to hundreds of thousands of children under the most intensive safety monitoring in US history.

Question: Will a young person’s reaction to the vaccine be different than an adult’s?



Dr. Flores: Immediate side effects for children after receiving the vaccine are very similar to those in adults. These side effects are usually normal signs that your body is building protection, like

soreness or swelling on the arm where you got the shot, headache, body aches, tiredness and fever.

Question: Is it safe to get the COVID vaccine at the same time as other vaccines children are supposed to get, like for HPV or measles?


Dr. Flores: Yes! Children and adolescents already need many vaccines to prevent diseases like measles and meningitis. The good news is that the COVID vaccine can be given along with these vaccines and there is no waiting period required between vaccines.