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COVID Vaccines for Children Age 6 Months Through 4 Years: FAQs for Families

Nearly everyone, including babies and young kids, can stay healthy while protecting their family and others from COVID. The updated COVID vaccine is recommended for kids age 6 months and older. Vaccination is the best way to prepare your child's immune system to recognize and resist COVID.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommend that all eligible children and teens get the COVID vaccine.

You or your child may have questions about COVID prevention. Your pediatrician is here to help. Here's what you need to know.

Which pediatric COVID vaccine should I choose?

There are two COVID vaccines (from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech) available for babies and young children. The AAP does not recommend one vaccine product over another.

Children age 6 months through age 4 years need multiple doses of COVID vaccines to be up to date—including at least one dose of updated COVID vaccine. Receiving the updated COVID vaccine helps your child's body develop immunity to protect them from serious illness, including from recent variants of the virus.

Where can babies and young kids get a COVID vaccine?

It is always best to begin with your child's pediatrician. Pediatricians are a trusted source, and they know your child best.

If your child is not up to date on other vaccinations, ask to receive them with their COVID vaccine at the same visit. The recommended immunizations help keep your child healthy, so their immune system is ready to respond to diseases like measles, polio, whooping cough and the flu.

If your child's pediatrician does not have the COVID vaccine, they can help you find a location that does. Depending on your child's age, the vaccine may be available through public health agencies, many clinic settings and pharmacies.

For help accessing COVID vaccines, text your Zip code to 438829, visit, call 1-800-232-0233 or TTY 1-888-720-7489.

Will my baby have side effects after the COVID shot?

Most parents are familiar with minor side effects as their child's immune system learns to make antibodies against a disease. Side effects may include things like soreness and redness where the shot goes in. Some babies and children don't feel well later in the day of the shot or on the next day. A small number of children develop a fever—and very few get high fever. Usually, it lasts only a day or two while their immunity is building up.

What if my infant or young child already had COVID?

If your child had a COVID infection, they should still receive an updated COVID vaccination, according to CDC guidelines. It is possible to be infected again with the virus. Vaccines help protect your child by providing extra protection from COVID, even after they have had an infection. People who already had COVID and do not get vaccinated after they recover are more likely to get it again, compared with those who get vaccinated after they recover.


Just like the rest of us, babies and young kids deserve to get the same immune-boosting benefits against COVID. Plus, they are helping to keep others healthy. Infants under age 6 months are too young to get the vaccine. And they have the second-highest rate of hospitalization among all ages this respiratory season. That is why it is very important for pregnant and breastfeeding people—and all other people who are around babies—to protect the baby by getting vaccinated.

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Last Updated
American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2024)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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