Children may be less likely to get COVID-19 but they are still at risk of catching and spreading the disease. With children set to return to school in the coming weeks, vaccination will help make schools safer.
In Australia, the COVID-19 vaccination is currently free, safe and recommended for everyone aged 5 years and over. Now as children aged five to 11 are eligible for vaccination, you might have some questions. Here’s what you need to know.
Can my child get a COVID vaccine?
Yes! If your child is aged five and over in Australia, you can now book a COVID-19 vaccine through the Vaccine Clinic Finder.
On 5 December 2021, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provisionally approved the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years. Vaccinating children can help reduce community transmission and help prevent children passing the virus onto younger siblings, grandparents, and the wider community.
The paediatric vaccine dose approved by the TGA for children aged five to 11 is one-third of the size approved for people aged 12 and over.
If you are a parent, you may be asked to consent to your child being vaccinated. In some states and territories, older adolescents may be able to provide their own consent.
What are the side effects of the vaccine in children and young people?
Children may experience some side effects after vaccination, however symptoms in children are milder than for adults. Most side effects last no more than a couple of days and your child will recover without any problems. Common reactions to vaccination include:
If you have any concerns about symptoms you can get more information here.
- pain, redness and/or swelling where you received the needle
- mild fever
Remember to book a second appointment!
It is important that you or your child gets two doses of the vaccine as the second dose is likely to prolong the protection against COVID-19. Children aged five to 11 years should receive a second dose after eight weeks.