Vaccines for children and teens

Last updated April 1, 2022.

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Pfizer vaccine is now authorized for kids 5-17
Find a vaccine appointment for your child
  • Many medical offices are offering COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 years. Ask your child’s health care provider if they offer COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Retail pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens take appointments for children aged 5 to 11. Find an appointment at a pharmacy near you at
    Vaccines.gov.

  • All mobile vaccination clinics have vaccines for children aged 5 to 11. Find an appointment at a mobile vaccination clinic near you.

  • Pediatric vaccine providers are located across the state. Find a local pediatric provider by viewing the purple pins on the statewide vaccine provider map found on our vaccine finder page.

  • Children younger than 5 years are not yet eligible for vaccination against COVID-19, but we expect the FDA to make a decision about authorizing a vaccine for this age group soon.

  • If you need a follow-up dose, ask about getting one at the time of your child’s vaccination. Many providers offer follow-up doses to parents/guardians along with pediatric COVID-19 vaccines.

Children age 5 years and older can get a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are the strongest layer of protection we can offer children against COVID-19. While fewer children get severely ill with COVID-19 than adults, they still can get sick with the virus and spread it to other people. Some get sick enough to need hospitalization. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help your child stay healthy, keep them in school, and protect your family and community.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free. You don’t need ID or insurance for you or your child to get vaccinated.

 

Where can my child get vaccinated?

Every CDPHE community vaccination site around the state offers vaccines for 5 to 11 year olds, as well as adults and children 12 and older. Find your closest community vaccination site and book an appointment at CDPHE’s community vaccination site web page.

Providers with vaccines for children age 5 to 11 are located across the state. Find a local pediatric provider by viewing the purple pins on the statewide vaccine provider map found on our vaccine finder page. Our vaccine provider list also has information about which providers have vaccines for children age 5 to 11.

Children age 12 to 17 years can get a vaccine at any provider that has the Pfizer vaccine for people age 12 and older. You can find providers with Pfizer on our vaccine finder webpage or on Vaccines.gov. You can also text your ZIP code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.

Many medical offices offer COVID-19 vaccines for children age 5 to 11 years. Ask your child’s medical provider if they offer COVID-19 vaccines in their office.

Is it safe for my child to get vaccinated?

Yes. Clinical trials and real-world data show that it is safe for children aged 5 to 17 years to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. As of March 24, 2022, approximately 9.8 million children aged 5–11 years have received Pfizer's vaccine. As of March 13, 2022, more than 68% of children age 12-17 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to CDC data. The safety findings from real-world data are similar to those from clinical trials. 

Do children get the same type of vaccine as adults? 

Children age 12 to 17 years can get the same kind of Pfizer vaccine as adults. Children age 5 to 11 years get a smaller dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine is one third of the dose of the Pfizer vaccine used for teens and adults. 

How well does the vaccine work for children?

The vaccine works well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death among children. A CDC report from March 2022 showed that getting vaccinated with two doses was 73% to 94% effective at preventing COVID-related hospitalization among children aged 5 to 17. 

What are the side effects of the vaccine for children?

The side effects in children are similar to the side effects experienced by adults. They can include tiredness, headache, soreness, chills, and fever. In clinical trials and real world data, children age 5 to 11 years tended to have milder side effects than teens and adults. Most side effects are mild and go away on their own after a day or two. Mild side effects are a normal sign the body is building protection.

Will my child need two doses of the vaccine?

Yes. Children aged 5 to 11 years who are not immunocompromised should get two doses of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks (21 days) apart. 

Children aged 12 to 17 years who are not immunocompromised may get their second dose up to eight weeks (two months) after their first. Waiting eight weeks between doses may reduce the risk of a rare side effect called myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation. This second dose timing may be best for boys aged 12 and older, who are at higher risk of myocarditis compared to other people. Talk to your child’s health care provider about when to schedule your child’s second dose. 

Does my child need follow-up doses/boosters?

Some children may need more than two doses depending on their age and whether or not they are immunocompromised.

Children age 12 to 17 who are not immunocompromised should get a third/booster dose five months after their second dose.

Children aged 5 to 17 who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive an additional primary dose 28 days after their second dose. Immunocompromised children aged 12 to 17 should then receive a fourth dose at least three months after the third. 

Some immunocompromised children aged 12 to 17 may benefit from getting a fifth dose (second booster) four months after their fourth dose. Children who may benefit most from another dose are those who are at higher risk because of their medical conditions or living or working situations. Talking with a health care provider can help you learn more about whether it’s best for your child to get a fifth dose, but it’s not required.

Children aged 5 to 11 who are not immunocompromised are not recommended to receive more than two doses at this time.

You can schedule an appointment for your child’s follow-up vaccinations at any provider that has vaccines for their age group.

Can my child get routine vaccines at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. It is safe for your child to receive other routine vaccines on the same day as a COVID-19 vaccine. You may be able to include other routine vaccinations at the appointment, which are vital for keeping kids protected from other preventable illnesses. 

Do children need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian at their vaccine appointments?

The state of Colorado does not require minors to be accompanied as long as parental consent is collected and shared prior to the appointment. This can be done through Colorado’s COVID-19 Vaccine Screening and Administration Form (view in Spanish) or through the vaccine provider’s online scheduling system. The provider may also obtain consent by phone and document it in the patient’s record.

Some vaccine providers may require children to have a parent or guardian with them at their appointment. We recommend calling your provider ahead of time to check whether they require parental accompaniment.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, please call:

1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926)
Available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.;
Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. MT.
Answers available in multiple languages.

The call center will be closed on Nov. 25, Dec. 25, and Jan. 1 for the holidays.