Vaccines are safe and effective in protecting individuals and populations against infectious diseases. New vaccines are evaluated by a long-standing, rigorous, and transparent process through the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), by which safety and efficacy data are reviewed before authorization and recommendation.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the following related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine in children and adolescents:
The AAP recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all children and adolescents 5 years of age and older who do not have contraindications using a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use for their age.
Any COVID-19 vaccine authorized through Emergency Use Authorization or approved (through a Biologics License Application) by the US Food and Drug Administration, recommended by the CDC, and appropriate by age and health status can be used for COVID-19 vaccination (primary series, additional doses, or booster doses) according to CDC guidelines for children and adolescents.
Children with previous infection or disease with SARS-CoV-2 should receive COVID-19 vaccination, according to CDC guidelines.
Given the importance of routine vaccination and the need for rapid uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, the AAP supports coadministration of routine childhood and adolescent immunizations with COVID-19 vaccines (or vaccination in the days before or after) for children and adolescents who are behind on or due for immunizations (based on the CDC/AAP Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule; https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html) and/or at increased risk from vaccine-preventable diseases. Pediatricians are encouraged to promote vaccination through ongoing, proactive messaging (ie, reminder recall, vaccine appointment/clinics), and to use existing patient visits as an opportunity to promote and provide COVID-19 vaccines.
Pediatricians’ role in promoting vaccination among their patient population and in their community is critical, especially among those at highest risk for severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19, as well as their household contacts. Parents, caregivers, and patients might have questions that need to be addressed related to the vaccine. Pediatricians play an essential role in helping answer these questions, as well as in reducing existing disparities and addressing any barriers to accessing COVID-19 vaccine in their community.
For additional guidance on the administration of COVID-19 vaccines, storage and handing, reporting, and patient education for each specific vaccine, visit: COVID-19 Vaccination Clinical and Professional Resources (CDC; https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/index.html) and COVID-19 Vaccine for Children (aap.org; https://www.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus- covid-19-infections/covid-19- vaccine-for-children/).
Committee on Infectious Diseases, 2021–2022
Yvonne A. Maldonado, MD, FAAP, Chairperson
Sean T. O’Leary, MD, MPH, FAAP, Vice Chairperson
Monica I. Ardura, DO, MSCS, FAAP
Ritu Banerjee, MD, PhD, FAAP
Kristina A Bryant, MD, FAAP
James D. Campbell, MD, MS, FAAP
Mary T. Caserta, MD, FAAP
Chandy C. John, MD, MS, FAAP
Jeffrey S. Gerber, MD, PhD, FAAP
Athena P. Kourtis, MD, PhD, MPH, FAAP
Adam J. Ratner, MD, MPH, FAAP
José R. Romero, MD, FAAP
Samir S. Shah, MD, MSCE, FAAP
Kenneth M. Zangwill, MD, FAAP
David W. Kimberlin, MD, FAAP – Red Book Editor
Elizabeth D. Barnett MD, FAAP– Red Book Associate Editor
Ruth Lynfield, MD, FAAP, Red Book Associate Editor
Mark H. Sawyer, MD, FAAP – Red Book Associate Editor
Henry H. Bernstein, DO, MHCM, FAAP – Red Book Online Associate Editor
Amanda C. Cohn, MD, FAAP, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Karen M. Farizo, MD, US Food and Drug Administration
Natasha B. Halasa, MD, MPH, FAAP, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
Lisa M. Kafer, MD, FAAP, Committee on Practice Ambulatory Medicine
David Kim, MD, HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy
Eduardo López Medina, MD, MSc, Sociedad Latinoamericana de Infectologia Pediatrica
Denee Moore, MD, FAAFP, American Academy of Family Physicians
Lakshmi Panagiotakopoulos, MD, MPH, FAAP, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Laura Sauvé, MD, FCPS, Canadian Paediatric Society
Neil S. Silverman, MD, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Jeffrey R. Starke, MD, FAAP, American Thoracic Society
Kay M. Tomashek, MD, MPH, DTM, National Institutes of Health
Jennifer M. Frantz, MPH
This document is copyrighted and is property of the American Academy of Pediatrics and its Board of Directors. All authors have filed conflict of interest statements with the American Academy of Pediatrics. Any conflicts have been resolved through a process approved by the Board of Directors. The American Academy of Pediatrics has neither solicited nor accepted any commercial involvement in the development of the content of this publication.
FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The authors have indicated they do not have a financial relationship relevant to this article to disclose.
FUNDING: No external funding.
Policy statements from the American Academy of Pediatrics benefit from expertise and resources of liaisons and internal (AAP) and external reviewers. However, policy statements from the American Academy of Pediatrics may not reflect the views of the liaisons or the organizations or government agencies that they represent.
The guidance in this statement does not indicate an exclusive course of treatment or serve as a standard of medical care. Variations, taking into account individual circumstances, may be appropriate.
All policy statements from the American Academy of Pediatrics automatically expire 5 years after publication unless reaffirmed, revised, or retired at or before that time.