COVID vaccines are our best hope to move forward from the COVID pandemic. Nearly all kids age 6 months and older are eligible for the 2023-2024 COVID vaccine.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend updated COVID vaccines for everyone age 6 months and older. The vaccine equips your child's immune system to recognize and resist the virus. This helps to prevent serious disease and hospitalization from COVID.
Recommended dose & type of vaccine
COVID mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are available for kids age 6 months and older. If your child is at least 12 years old and cannot receive the mRNA vaccines, they may be eligible for the updated
protein subunit COVID vaccine from Novavax.
Babies and young children usually need more doses than older children and teens.
(See the chart below for details.) Parents should note that additional
doses of the 2023-2024 COVID vaccine may be recommended if a child has certain medical conditions or takes medicines that weaken the immune system.
When is my child up to date?
Children age 6 months through 4 years: They are up to date when they get 3 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or 2 doses of Moderna vaccine. At least 1 dose should be an updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID vaccine.
Children age 5 through 11 years are up to date when they get:
1 dose of updated Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
When they get 1 dose of updated Moderna COVID vaccine.
Adolescents age 12 through 17 years are up to date when they get:
1 dose of updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID vaccine.
2 doses of updated Novavax vaccine.
1 dose of any updated COVID vaccine after any original or bivalent COVID vaccine.
AAP Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Dosing Quick Reference Guide, https://aap.org/covidvaccineguide
If your child has a medical condition or takes medicines that affect their
immune system, ask your pediatrician whether your child's recommended schedule is different.
Do kids need to wait to get the vaccine if they had COVID?
Talk to your pediatrician about the best timing for vaccination following infection. If your child has an active COVID infection or had COVID between doses, they should wait to get vaccinated until they've recovered and are no longer contagious.
Children who recently had COVID can consider delaying a COVID vaccine by up to 3 months. This is because there is a lower risk of getting sick with COVID again during that time.
Don't let COVID slow your family down this fall. Pediatricians urge everyone to keep your immune system updated by getting the 2023-2024 COVID vaccine.
People still should get the 2023-2024 COVID vaccine even if they had COVID. This is because COVID vaccines have been shown to provide the strongest, broadest and most long-lasting
protection, both in people who have and who have not had COVID infection previously. Some people who become infected also may be at higher risk of long-term effects from their infection (known as
long COVID or
One thing is certain: COVID vaccines are preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death for billions of people who've received them. We are relieved that almost all children and teens can get the vaccines, so they can stay healthy and thrive.