Here are some answers to common questions to help you decide to get your child or yourself vaccinated against COVID-19.
1. My child has a high-risk medical condition, can they get vaccinated?
Yes, the COVID-19 vaccination can be given to a child who has a high-risk condition. The only people who shouldn’t get the vaccine are those who have had a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis requiring emergency medical care when you have received other injectable vaccines or injectable therapies.
2. Can my child get COVID-19 disease from getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
No, the COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the United States do not have the live virus in them that causes COVID-19. A COVID-19 vaccine can’t make your child sick with COVID-19.
3. Can mRNA get into my child’s genes or alter their DNA?
No, COVID-19 vaccines will not change your child’s DNA. The two types of COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and viral vector vaccines.
4. My child has already had COVID-19, are they immune or do they need to be vaccinated?
People who have had COVID-19 do need the COVID-19 vaccination even if they have had COVID-19. The timing of the vaccine should be after the symptoms have subsided and the child has recovered.
5. What side effects could my child experience from the COVID-19 vaccination?
After the COVID-19 vaccination, especially after the second dose, your child may have some mild-to-moderate symptoms, like arm pain, fatigue and headache. It is a sign that your child’s immune system is working. Side effects usually occur 1-2 days after the vaccination and no later than the week after vaccination. Call your health care provider if any symptoms occur, such as a worrisome or persistent rash.
6. If my child has had COVID-19, will their side effects be worse from the COVID-19 vaccination?
This has been reported in some adults, but not all who have gotten vaccinated after having had COVID-19 disease. Everyone is different in how they respond. Since protective antibodies after disease may not last long, especially if COVID-19 was an asymptomatic or mild case, the lasting protection comes with being vaccinated against COVID-19.
7. Can my child get COVID-19 after they are fully vaccinated?
The COVID-19 vaccination will help keep your child from getting severely sick from COVID-19. Your child will be fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. There is a small chance they can still get COVID-19 after they are fully vaccinated, but it is better to get the vaccine than to get COVID-19. Most who have gotten COVID-19 after vaccination are 70 years of age and older and have underlying conditions.
8. Is it safe to get vaccinated when pregnant? Does the vaccine cause miscarriages?
There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy. You can get the vaccine if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Talk with your health care provider if you have questions.
9. Will the COVID-19 vaccination disrupt my child’s menstrual cycle? Can they become sterile if they get vaccinated?
No, the COVID-19 vaccine does not impact reproductive or menstrual cycles. No, your child will not become sterile by getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
10. Is there a cost to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
No, there is no cost to vaccinate your child or their caregivers for COVID-19 at Children’s Minnesota. Some vaccination clinics may have a cost for parking.