Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 and Adolescents

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Kids aren’t getting severely ill from COVID-19, so why should I or my child get vaccinated?

  • Even if you don’t get severely ill, you can still spread the virus to someone who might – like a grandparent, someone at church, a teacher at school, or anyone in your community.  
  • We’re also learning more about the long-term effects of COVID-19. Even if you don’t get severely ill right now, or even have serious symptoms, you could still have long-term damage that causes health problems down the road.

Why is only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine available for teens?

  • So far, only Pfizer-BioNTech has applied and been approved to make its COVID-19 vaccine available to people as young as age 5.
  • On June 10, 2021, Moderna applied and is currently under review for its vaccine to be available to people as young as age 12.

How many vaccine doses do adolescents need?

  • Adolescents need 2 initial doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, given 21 days apart, followed by a booster 5 months later.

How do we know this vaccine is safe for kids and teens?

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been through rigorous testing and thorough review by the FDA and CDC. Thousands of people ages 5–15 were in the clinical trials and, among those who received it, the vaccine was 100% effective at preventing COVID.

Will I or my child get myocarditis or pericarditis from receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine?

  • In most cases, patients who sought medical care for myocarditis or pericarditis (heart inflammation) have responded well to medications and rest and had prompt improvement of symptoms. Reported cases have occurred predominantly in male adolescents and young adults age 16 and older. Onset was typically within several days after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination, and cases have occurred more often after the second dose than the first dose. CDC and its partners are investigating these reports of myocarditis and pericarditis following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.
  • CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for everyone age 5 and older, given the risk of COVID-19 and related, possibly severe complications, such as long-term health problems, hospitalization, and even death.
  • Go to for more information on the clinical considerations on myocarditis and pericarditis after receipt of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines among adolescents and young adults.

Will the COVID-19 vaccines have any long-term impacts on pregnant women?

  • Growing evidence confirms that the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for people who are pregnant.
  • CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible for all people who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, wanting to become pregnant someday, or breastfeeding.
  • COVID-19 can be a dangerous disease during pregnancy and is known to present higher risks for severe illness if you are pregnant. COVID-19 during pregnancy also increases the risk of preterm birth and might increase risks for other adverse pregnancy outcomes. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you against severe illness from COVID-19 and help keep your baby safe.

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine while I’m on my period (or when my child is on their period)?

  • According to CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there’s no reason to put off getting vaccinated if someone is on their period.  CDC and the FDA have been closely monitoring safety data and haven’t seen any patterns of concern.

Do parents need to give consent before a vaccine is given to an eligible minor?

  • The federal government doesn’t have specific requirements for medical consent for vaccination. States/jurisdictions have medical consent laws under which a medical provider must seek consent prior to a medical procedure and the processes for obtaining that consent. These laws vary across jurisdictions.