COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 years and older

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was recently given Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA and approved for use by the CDC for children 12 years and older.  We fully, enthusiastically, and emphatically agree with this decision and recommend that all of our patients 12 years and older sign-up to get their COVID-19 vaccine.  

We have been getting lots of phone calls and portal messages with similar questions.  Please see below for some answers to the FAQs.


Should I get my child vaccinated?

  • YES! The CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children 12 years and older get their COVID-19 vaccination. The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) and AAP independently and carefully reviewed the data from Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine trials and determined the vaccine was both safe and effective for children 12 years and older.


Are there side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine in the 12-15y age group?

  • YES. Side effects were similar to those seen in the adult population.  The most common side effects were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever and joint pain. Most side effects lasted 1-3 days.


Will the COVID-19 vaccine cause infertility in younger people?

  • NO. There are no data to suggest that the COVID-19 vaccine causes or will cause infertility. Simply put, this is misinformation that has been spread on social media.


Should my child get the COVID-19 vaccine if they had COVID-19?

  • YES. The CDC recommends that all children 12 years and older get the COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of prior COVID-19 infection. The only caveat is that “children or adults with a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome linked to COVID-19 may be vaccinated but should consider waiting until 90 days after the diagnosis of this syndrome,” per the AAP.


Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine at or around the same time as other routine childhood vaccinations?

  • YES. This is a recent change. Previously the CDC had recommended against administration of any vaccines within 2-weeks of the COVID-19 vaccines.  The CDC and AAP have since come out and said the following “Given the importance of routine vaccination and the need for rapid uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, the AAP supports co-administration 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…”


Are they any underlying medical issues that should prevent my child from getting the vaccine?

  • NO.  There are no current contraindications to receiving the vaccine other than an allergy to one of its components.


If my child has food allergies should they get the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • YES. The CDC has said that the only people that should not get the vaccine are those with a known allergy to any component of the vaccine. Those with allergies to common food items, environmental triggers, or medications are not at higher risk for an allergic reaction than the general public.  Take a look at this great blog by Dr. Sokol of Schreiber Allergy:


Do we have the vaccine at Potomac Pediatrics?

  • NOT YET. We are working with local authorities on getting the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible.  We are working hard on establishing a safe, efficient, and equitable system to administer these vaccines when available.  We are not currently keeping a waitlist.  We will provide more information when it is available. 


Other resources and information


AAP, CDC recommend COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12 and older

CDC – COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teen

AAP Calls for Children and Teens Age 12 and Up to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

FDA – Fact sheet for recipients and caregivers