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    COVID-19 Vaccines for Children


    Update: September 2022


    Updated COVID-19 boosters approved for children ages 12+


    The CDC has authorized new updated COVID-19 boosters from both Pfizer and Moderna. The Pfizer product is available for ages 12+, and the Moderna product is available for ages 18+. To be eligible for an updated booster, you must have received your last primary series or booster dose at least 2 months ago. Children ages 5-11 are eligible for Pfizer’s original (monovalent) pediatric booster. 


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    The CDC has approved primary COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 6 months to 4 years. Under our immunization guidelines, at Rite Aid, we  immunize individuals age 3 and older. For children under 3, contact your primary care provider or visit vaccines.gov to find a provider who immunizes younger children.


    Why should I vaccinate my child?


    Vaccinating children is crucial in fighting the spread of disease and preventing severe complications and long-term effects in kids. Children are already routinely vaccinated against diseases such as chickenpox and measles. While more adults than children have been infected with COVID-19, it's still important to remember that children can:


    • Be infected with COVID-19
    • Get sick from COVID-19
    • Spread COVID-19 to others, including vulnerable populations like elderly family members


    COVID-19 cases tend to be less severe in children. However, pediatric COVID-19 cases can result in hospitalization, deaths, MIS-C (inflammatory syndromes), and long-term complications, such as "long COVID", or long-term, lingering symptoms.


    Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children?


    Any COVID-19 vaccine for children is subject to the same multi-step testing and approval process as all other COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 vaccines. These include vaccines that are routinely recommended for childhood vaccination, such as Polio, Hepatitis B, chickenpox, or measles, mumps, and rubella. 


    The final decision about the recommendation came from CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who endorses the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' (ACIP) recommendation for pediatric vaccination in this age group. The ACIP is an independent advisory committee consisting of medical and public health experts who create recommendations for the safe use of vaccines.


    What can I expect when vaccinating my child?


    In clinical trials, side effects were mild and similar to those seen in adults with other vaccines recommended for children. The most common side effect was a sore arm.


    What if my child is immunocompromised? 


    To see whether your child is eligible for additional doses, please check our page on COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility.


    For more details on COVID-19 vaccines for children, visit the CDC website.