The COVID-19 vaccine is available to people 5 years of age and older. Youth ages 5 to 17 may get only the Pfizer vaccine. No other COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for people younger than 18.
Visit Vaccine Locator to find and schedule an appointment.
Homebound and need a COVID-19 vaccine? Fill out a secure online form to let us know if you or someone you know is homebound. Your answers will allow us to connect individuals to available County and/or State Mobile Vaccine Teams.
Need help? Call 1-833-VAX-HELP (833-829-4357), then press #. Language assistance is available. You can also text your zip code to 438-829 (GET VAX) or 822-862 (VACUNA) for vaccine locations near you.
Vaccine Safety and Efficacy
Getting your child vaccinated against COVID-19 can:
- Help lower the risk of them getting infected with COVID-19
- Reduce their chance of getting seriously ill, if they do become infected with COVID-19
- Reduce their chance of needing hospitalization and lower their risk of dying from COVID-19
- Help prevent them from getting infected with a COVID-19 variant
- Add to the number of people in the community who are protected from getting COVID-19 — making it harder for the disease to spread
- Reduce disruptions to in-person learning and activities by helping curb community transmission of COVID-19
Vaccine Safety and Efficacy
Children aged 5-11
- Approximately 3,100 children ages 5 through 11 received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in clinical trials. No serious side effects have been detected in the study, which is ongoing.
- The immune responses of children ages 5 through 11 were comparable to those of individuals ages 16 through 25 years of age.
- The vaccine was nearly 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5 through 11.
Children aged 12-15
- 2,260 participants ages 12 through 15 years old enrolled in an ongoing randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial in the United States.
- Of these, 1,131 adolescent participants received the vaccine and 1,129 received a saline placebo. More than half of the participants were followed for safety for at least two months following the second dose.
The Pfizer vaccine is available for kids ages 5-15 under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), and fully approved for ages 16+.
An EUA allows the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make a product available during a declared state of emergency before it has a full license. The purpose of emergency use authorization is to ensure that people can get lifesaving vaccines prior to a longer-term analysis of data. EUA still requires a very thorough review of clinical data—just over a shorter period of time.
Any EUA granted by the FDA is further vetted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.
What we know: The Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is authorized for kids ages 5+.
What it means: it’s ready. The Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine has been proven safe and effective for young kids.
Frequently Asked Questions for Parents and Guardians
New COVID-19 variants are more dangerous and infectious to children than the original strains. The percentage of children hospitalized with COVID-19 has increased 240% in the U.S. in the last few months.
While COVID-19 is often milder in children than adults, children can still get very sick and spread it to friends and family who are immunocompromised or vulnerable in other ways.
Children who are infected with COVID-19 can develop “long COVID-19” or persistent symptoms that often include brain fog, fatigue, headaches, dizziness and shortness of breath. Vaccination is the best way to keep kids healthy and safe.
Children who get infected with COVID-19 may be at greater risk for Multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. While it is still unknown what causes MIS-C, many children with MIS-C had COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.
The State Board of Health, not the Department of Health, has the authority to create immunization requirements for children in K-12 schools RCW 28A.210.140.
The Board is coordinating with the state Department of Health to begin the process of convening a technical advisory group (TAG) to discuss whether a COVID-19 vaccine should be considered against the Board’s criteria and a recommendation made on whether to add it to the state’s list of required immunizations for school entry. The Board anticipates holding a briefing on the progress of organizing a TAG at its January 2022 public meeting.
No. Your child will get the vaccine at no cost to you. The federal government pays for the full cost of the vaccine.
If you have public or private health insurance, your vaccine provider may bill them to get reimbursed for the vaccine administration fee. If you do not have insurance, the federal government offers a program that will pay the provider to administer your vaccination.
You should not be charged out of pocket costs or receive a bill from your provider for the COVID-19 vaccine administration fee. This applies to people who have private insurance, have Apple Health (Medicaid), have Medicare, or are uninsured.
The health risks if children are infected with COVID-19 are much higher than the risk of vaccine side effects.
Like other vaccines, the most common side effects are a sore arm, tiredness, headache, and muscle pain. These symptoms are usually mild.
In clinical trials more children reported side effects after the second dose than after the first dose. Side effects were generally mild to moderate in severity and occurred within two days after vaccination, and most went away within one to two days.
The ingredients in the Pfizer vaccine are pretty typical for a vaccine. The vaccine contains the active ingredient of mRNA along with other ingredients like fats, salts, and sugars that protect the active ingredient, help it work better in the body, and protect the vaccine during storage and transport.
The Pfizer vaccine does not contain human cells (including fetal cells), the COVID-19 virus, latex, preservatives, or any animal by-products including pork products or gelatin. The vaccines are not grown in eggs and do not contain any egg products.
See this Q&A webpage from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for more information about ingredients.
The Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine is the only one authorized for children ages 5 to 17.
Currently, booster doses are only recommended for people 12 years and older. People ages and 17 and younger can only get the Pfizer vaccine for their booster dose.
Your child will need two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, given three weeks apart.
Children who are immunocompromised will need three doses, with the last dose given 28 days after the second dose.
Talk with your child’s pediatrician or other trusted medical provider, talk with a community health worker, or read information at www.CovidVaccineWA.org.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 5–11-year-olds is the same vaccine ingredients, but a smaller dose, one-third the size.
The current product for adults and adolescents should not be used in children ages 5-11.
Ask your regular pediatrician if they carry the COVID-19 vaccine. If not, find a convenient location with Vaccine Locator.
Yes. Your child can get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time they get other vaccines.
You do not need to schedule your child’s required school vaccinations or other recommended vaccines separately from COVID-19 vaccination. A COVID-19 vaccine appointment is another opportunity to get your child caught up on all of their recommended vaccines.
The Washington State Board of Health determines which vaccines are required for schools and child care. There is no school or child care requirement for COVID-19 vaccine at this time.
For day camps, check with the organization running the camp to find out what their requirements are.