Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the COVID-19 Vaccine for Parents of Adolescents

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the current Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 years old. This FAQ site is intended for parents and communities looking for information on the COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents. All authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and help protect from severe illness. 

Read below for answers to frequently asked questions and helpful links to protect your children – and your community. 

  • Does my child need a COVID-19 vaccine?
    • Yes. COVID-19 vaccines protect children from getting COVID-19. If your child does get COVID-19 but has received the vaccine, it protects them from becoming seriously ill. All children 12 years or older should receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • When should I get my child vaccinated?
    • Your child should receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible if they have not done so already. For their protection, your child will need two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine three weeks (21 days) apart.
  • Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for my child?
    • Yes. COVID-19 vaccines continue to pass the most rigorous safety monitoring in United States history. The vaccine provides safe and effective protection against the COVID-19 virus. 
    • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is available for all persons age 12 years and older. No safety concerns were identified in its clinical trials for children 12-15 years old. These clinical trials confirmed a 100% rate of protecting against COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • What do I do during my child’s vaccination appointment?
    • Tell the nurse and/or doctor if your child has any allergies. Comfort your child during their appointment. Ensure your child is seated or laying down for at least 15 minutes after their vaccination shot to prevent fainting. After your child receives their vaccine shot, do not leave for 15-30 minutes so they can be observed for allergic reactions. 
  • What are side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents?
    • The benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine heavily outweigh the potential side effects that may come with the vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccine will protect your child from contracting and becoming sick with COVID-19. 
    • If your child experiences side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine, that is totally normal and is a sign that their body is building protection against the COVID-19 virus. 
    • Side effects may include: pain, redness, and swelling on the arm your child receives their vaccine shot; tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, nausea. 
    • These side effects may affect your child’s daily functioning, but they should go away after a few days. Many children have no side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. Those who do experience side effects may be more impacted by those after the second shot than after the first shot. 
    • Contact your healthcare provider if: 1) The redness, pain and swelling on your child’s arm where they receive their vaccine shot gets worse after 24 hours. 2) If your child’s side effects worry you or don’t go away after a few days. 
  • How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost for my child?
    • The United States federal government is providing free COVID-19 vaccines to all persons living in the U.S., regardless of immigration or health insurance status. 
    • Providers of COVID-19 vaccines cannot: 1) charge you for the vaccine, 2) charge you any fees if the only service provided was the COVID-19 vaccination, 3) deny vaccination to anyone for health insurance coverage reasons, 4) require additional services in order to receive a COVID-19 vaccine shot.
  • Can my child receive other vaccinations during their COVID-19 vaccination visit?
    • Yes. Your child can receive other vaccines at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn more.
  • Where can I learn more information?
    • For more information on COVID-19 vaccines and all other vaccines, talk to your child’s nurse or doctor. You can also learn more now at