Facts About the Vaxx for Parents/Guardians

This resource is available in other languages

To print this document, use your internet browser’s print settings to set page margins and remove the header and footer. For the best printing experience, use the Google Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge browser. 

Misconceptions about the COVID-19 vaccines have caused confusion among parents/guardians. Here are the facts about COVID-19 and the vaccines for children.

COVID-19 can be dangerous for children

Children are as likely as adults to be infected with COVID. And there’s no way to predict how COVID might affect your child, including the potential for long-term effects that we don’t yet know about.

Among children under age 18 in the United States who’ve gotten COVID, tens of thousands have been hospitalized and hundreds have died.

Some children even develop Long COVID, where they have symptoms that last for weeks or months.

Safe, effective vaccines help protect children from:

  • Getting seriously ill from COVID.
  • Developing Long COVID.
  • Spreading the disease to others, putting their health and lives at risk.

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe for children ages 6 months and older

The COVID-19 vaccine was rigorously tested in thousands of children before authorization by the FDA. The vaccine was shown to be safe and effective during the clinical trials.

Children had the same kinds of temporary side effects from vaccines as adults. Side effects during the clinical trials were usually mild and went away on their own in a few days.

Hundreds of millions of Americans have already received a COVID-19 vaccine—the most closely monitored vaccine in U.S. history. The FDA and CDC will continue to monitor COVID-19 vaccines for safety just as closely in children.

Children should get the vaccine even if they’ve had COVID-19

Having had COVID-19 doesn’t necessarily protect your child from getting it again.

In fact, a study found that unvaccinated individuals were more than twice as likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 than those who had COVID-19 and then got vaccinated.

Myocarditis or pericarditis after vaccination is extremely rare

Myocarditis and pericarditis—two kinds of heart inflammation that can cause symptoms like chest pain, a fast or hard heartbeat, and shortness of breath— are extremely rare following vaccination.

When this inflammation happens, it’s most often within several days after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in male adolescents and young adults. Adolescent patients typically recover quickly and respond well to medications and rest.

COVID-19 is more likely to cause myocarditis than the vaccines, and it’s more severe.

The COVID-19 vaccines don’t affect fertility, periods, or puberty

There’s no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility (problems conceiving a child), problems with menstruation, or problems with puberty.

The COVID-19 vaccines don’t affect DNA

COVID-19 vaccines don’t change or interact with your DNA in any way.

The vaccines lead your immune system to build protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. But the vaccine ingredients never get to the part of your cells where your DNA is. And your body gets rid of the vaccine ingredients within a few days.