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COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens

Cartoon of parents, children, doctor, nurse at school vaccination clinic, pharmacy and doctor office.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe for children and teens. Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency authorization to use in children ages 5–15 years old and full approval to use in people ages 16 years and older. CDC recommends everyone ages 5 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19.

The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks. While COVID-19 tends to be milder in children compared with adults, it can make children very sick and cause children to be hospitalized. In some situations, the complications from infection can lead to death.

Children can

  • Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Get very sick from COVID-19
  • Have both short- and long-term health complications from COVID-19
  • Spread COVID-19 to others

Widespread vaccination for COVID-19 is a critical tool to best protect everyone, especially those at highest risk, from severe illness and death. People who are fully vaccinated can safely resume many activities that they did prior to the pandemic. Children ages 5 years and older are able to get an age-appropriate dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about what you and your child or teen can do when fully vaccinated.

Children with underlying medical conditions are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with children without underlying medical conditions. Children who get infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can also develop serious complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C)—a condition where different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

Help protect your whole family and slow the spread of COVID-19 in your community by getting yourself and your children ages 5 years and older vaccinated against COVID-19.

Read More on COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens 

Vaccination vs. Prior Immunity Infection

CDC recently published new science reinforcing that vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19. In a study examining more than 7,000 people across 9 states who were hospitalized with COVID-like illness, CDC found that those who were unvaccinated and had a recent COVID-19 infection were 5 times more likely to have COVID-19 again than those who were recently fully vaccinated and did not have a prior infection.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. They prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. CDC continues to recommend everyone 5 and older get vaccinated against COVID-19. COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots are also recommended to extend protection for people 16 years of age or older.
Read New CDC Study: Vaccination Offers Higher Protection than Previous COVID-19 Infection 

Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter 

People dressed in winter coats, boots and hats walking outside local grocery stores in the snow.

Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us may not be ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you are more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall. Winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead.

Prepare Your Home

Staying inside does not guarantee safety. Take steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.

  • Winterize your home.
  • Check your heating systems.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning emergencies.

Prepare Your Vehicle

Get your vehicle ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.

  • Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level.
  • Check your tires’ tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.
  • Keep the gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

Prepare for Emergencies

Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.

Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.

  • Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged.
  • When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.
  • Keep an up-to-date emergency kit.

Click here to learn how to prepare for winter weather 

Additional Resources

Disclaimer: Non-CDC content is provided for informational purposes only. Inclusion in this newsletter is not intended to indicate actual or implied endorsement. Information is provided “as is.” Users are encouraged to evaluate these tools and make their own determination about usefulness and effectiveness.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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