COVID-19 virus is still spreading. That's why getting the vaccine and updated booster shot are the best things to do to keep your kids healthy. It also helps make sure that your kids can keep attending child care, school and other activities that are so important for their physical and mental health.

All eligible kids should get the COVID vaccine so they are ready to resist infection—and it's an important way to protect the health of others.

The COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for kids 6 months old and up. The COVID vaccine dose your child will get is based on their age. Your pediatrician can explain which vaccine is right for your baby, child or teen.

Here's a checklist as you prepare for your child's COVID vaccination:

  • Call your child's pediatrician or primary care doctor and tell them you 're planning to have your child vaccinated. Ask them questions about any concerns you may have.

  • Schedule your child's COVID-19 vaccine appointment at your pediatrician's office, vaccination clinic, pharmacy, community vaccination site, church or school.

  • Your child can also receive routine shots at the same appointment for the COVID-19 shot. This includes getting an annual influenza shot. Ask if your child is caught up on all recommended immunizations.

  • Talk with your child before the appointment. Many parents may have concerns about how their child might act when they need a shot. But there are simple ways to help make it a positive, calm experience.

  • After your child receives their vaccine, schedule the next dose. Kids age 5 years and up should get an updated booster when it is time. Make sure that your pediatrician's office has a copy of the card in your child's medical record. Your child's day care, preschool, school or college health office also may need a copy of the card.

  • If your child is 5 years old or older and has a medical condition or takes medicine that weakens the immune system, another dose may be recommended.

  • Keep the paper vaccination card you will receive! Don’t laminate the vaccination card, in case more information needs to be added. Take a photo of it or copy it and keep everything in a safe place. And to avoid identity theft risk, don’t share a photo of the card on social media.

Parents and guardians: Sign your child up for COVID-19 vaccination safety checks with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) v-safe program at www.cdc.gov/vsafe. V-safe sends text messages with links to web surveys, allowing you to share how your child is feeling after vaccination. If you report seeking medical care during a health check-in, the CDC will follow up by phone.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all eligible infants, children and adults age 6 months and older should get COVID vaccines. People are considered up to date if they have received all recommended doses and boosters for their age. Encourage your child to keep doing their part to protect others. Then they can get back to activities they enjoy like play groups, sports, traveling and holiday fun with some added confidence that they are protected!

American Academy of Pediatrics

www.aap.org and www.HealthyChildren.org

Adapted from the HealthyChildren.org article COVID Vaccine Checklist for Kids (10/13/2022).

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.

In all aspects of its publishing program (writing, review, and production), the AAP is committed to promoting principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Any websites, brand names, products, or manufacturers are mentioned for informational and identification purposes only and do not imply an endorsement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP is not responsible for the content of external resources. Information was current at the time of publication. The information contained in this publication 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.