COVID-19 Vaccines and Kids
Vaccinating children against COVID-19 helps protect them and their families from severe illness and reduces spread of the virus. Find out about the authorized vaccines, how they work, possible side effects and the benefits of having your children vaccinated.
Schedule a Vaccine Appointment
UH Rainbow pediatric primary care patients:
Call your pediatrician's office directly.
Not a current patient?
Call the UH Rainbow Vaccine Clinic: 216-983-0012.
Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: Closed
Getting a Vaccine at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s
University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital is now providing COVID-19 vaccines to children age 5 and older and booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children age 12 and older five months after completion of the second dose.
In addition, children ages 5 through 11 who have undergone solid organ transplantation, or who have been diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise are eligible for a third COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Children younger than age 18 must present at the vaccination appointment a printed and completed consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian. Children younger than age 18 who are not emancipated must have parental consent for any vaccine.
A parent or legal guardian should accompany the minor to receive the vaccine, unless vaccination occurs in a physician’s office, school-based or school-associated clinic setting or similar setting.
After receiving the vaccine, your child will need to stay for 15 minutes for observation, and then will receive a card stating he or she has received the COVID-19 vaccine.
To Schedule an Appointment
If you are a UH Rainbow pediatric primary care patient, please call your pediatric office directly to schedule your vaccine.
If your child does not have a UH Rainbow primary care pediatrician, your child can be vaccinated at a UH Rainbow vaccine clinic. Call 216-983-0012 to schedule. You do not have to be a UH Rainbow patient to receive COVID-19 vaccination at our vaccine clinics.
UH Rainbow vaccination clinics are located at UH Cleveland Medical Center (Lerner Tower), UH Management Services Center in Shaker Heights and Seasons of Life in Parma.
Please know you must have a scheduled appointment with us to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We are unable at this time to vaccinate people on a drop-in basis.
Children & Teens Can Get and Spread COVID-19
Fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults. However, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, can get sick from COVID-19, and can spread the virus that causes COVID-19.
Like adults, children who have COVID-19 but have no symptoms (“asymptomatic”) can still spread the virus to others.
Most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. However, some children can get severely ill from COVID-19. They might require hospitalization, intensive care or a ventilator to help them breathe. In rare cases, they might die.
To keep updated on current COVID-19 trends in children, visit the Ohio Department of Health – COVID 19 Dashboards for Children and Schools.
Want to Know More About COVID-19 and Kids?
Learn about COVID-19 effects on children and young adults, testing and how to talk to kids about going back to school in addition to finding parent resources and more.
COVID-19 Vaccine Safety
Clinical leaders at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s believe that these vaccines, which were thoroughly vetted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are recommended for the protection of each individual and the community against COVID-19.
The COVID-19 vaccines were studied in clinical trials for safety and efficacy according to rigorous standards set by the FDA before being made available for public use. Study protocols and results are available to the public to ensure transparency.
Introducing the UH Vaccine Playbook
Approved COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids Under 12
The CDC has approved emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID vaccine be used in children 5-11 years old. Watch Amy Edwards, MD, pediatric infectious disease expert, address the most common questions and concerns for parents of kids under 12 years old.Watch Video
COVID-19 Vaccine and Children Frequently Asked Questions
- What ages can currently be vaccinated?
Children age 5 and up can currently be vaccinated.
- Is it OK to get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines?
You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit. Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, and possible side effects after getting vaccinated are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines.
- When can children younger than 5 be vaccinated?
Clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine are still being completed for children ages under 5 years old.
- What is the benefit of vaccination for children and teens?
COVID-19 can cause severe medical complications and can lead to death in some people, including children. If your child gets COVID-19, they could spread the disease to family, friends and others around them – even if they have no symptoms. If your family, friends and people become infected, they could experience severe medical complications or even die from the disease. Also, it’s not completely understood at this point whether having COVID-19 results in long-term health effects. By vaccinating as many people as possible, this will help with limiting the spread of COVID-19.
- How do I know the vaccine is safe for my child?
In clinical trials, all authorized vaccines have been shown to be highly effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
Two vaccines authorized for use are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
The vaccines use genetic material called mRNA to teach the body’s immune system to fight the coronavirus. The mRNA in the vaccine activates the body’s immune system but does not change the body’s DNA.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while the Moderna vaccine has FDA emergency use authorization following the FDA’s examination of large clinical trials involving nearly 40,000 participants. The FDA determined these vaccines may be effective in reducing the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19.
Both vaccines were authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use after examination of large clinical trials involving nearly 40,000 participants, which determined that these vaccines may be effective in preventing COVID-19.
- Will the vaccine affect my child’s future fertility?
There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine affects future fertility.
- Which vaccine will my child receive?
Adolescents ages 12 years and older receive the same dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as adults. The Pfizer vaccine has full FDA approval for those age 16 and older. The Pfizer vaccine has emergency use authorization for children age 12 to 16, and children age 5 to 11 will receive the lower-dose Pfizer pediatric vaccine under emergency use authorization. Smaller needles, designed specifically for children, are used for children ages 5 to 11.
Your child will need a second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine three weeks after their first shot.
Dosage is based on the child's age on the day of vaccination, not size or weight.
- My child has already had COVID-19. Do they still need the vaccine?
Yes. Your child should get the vaccine even if they have already had COVID-19. Even though having had COVID-19 may provide some protection from getting sick again, it is not known how long that protection will last.
- Should my child get the COVID-19 vaccine if they are currently sick with COVID-19?
People with COVID-19 can get the vaccine after they are feeling better and meet the criteria to stop isolation. Read the CDC’s guidelines on when you can be around others after having COVID-19.
Talk with your child’s doctor about when your child should receive the vaccine.
- Do COVID-19 vaccines protect my child from newly discovered strains of the virus?
The current COVID-19 vaccines do offer protection against the new coronavirus strains. The vaccines work by producing an immune response against the spike protein on the virus’s surface. To date, none of the virus mutations have altered this spike protein, and so the vaccines remain effective. Pfizer recently reported studies that looked at antibodies of people vaccinated and found that these antibodies neutralized the variant viruses.
- How many doses will my child need?
The Pfizer vaccine is a two-dose series. The second dose is due 21 days (three weeks) after the first dose. Both doses are needed to achieve maximum protection. A person is considered fully immunized two weeks following the second dose.
Your child should get a second shot as close to the recommended three-week or four-week interval as possible. However, your child's second dose may be given up to six weeks (42 days) after the first dose, if necessary.
Booster shots are available for children age 12 and older. It is recommended that children older than 12 receive a booster shot at least five months after their last shot was received.
- After my child gets a COVID-19 vaccine, can we stop wearing masks?
It’s unknown whether you can pass on the virus even after you receive the vaccine. So you should continue following recommended precautions such as wearing a mask in public, maintaining a physical distance of six feet from others and washing your hands frequently to prevent getting and transmitting the COVID-19 virus, especially while you are around others who have not been vaccinated.
- How much will the vaccine cost for my child?
UH bills patient insurance for an administration fee to cover costs of administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Insured patients are not responsible for paying this fee.
If you are uninsured, the administration fee is billed to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) program, which is designed to support care for the uninsured during the pandemic. Uninsured patients are not responsible for paying this fee.
There is no billing for the vaccine itself.
If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccination billing or any billing at UH, please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-859-5906. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Can I also get a vaccine when my child is getting vaccinated?
Yes. All residents of Ohio older than age of 5 are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. You can schedule a vaccine appointment for all eligible members of your family at UH. Phone 216-983-0012 to schedule vaccine appointments.
- What are the risks of teens and young adults developing myocarditis with the COVID-19 vaccination?
In patients with COVID-19, the rate of occurrence of myocarditis is one in 3,000 individuals among those ages 18 to 34. With vaccinated people in the 18 to 34 age group, the instance of myocarditis drops to only one in 33,000. Among women in that age group, the instance is even rarer: one in 250,000. There is a much higher chance of developing myocarditis in unvaccinated individuals who contract the virus than is seen with fully vaccinated people.
Children with COVID-19-associated myocarditis are more likely to be much sicker, be admitted to the intensive care unit and be intubated. Some of these children end up on bypass and life support, while the vaccine-associated myocarditis in children tends to be less severe, with some children being sick for only a few days with little time in the hospital -- often without an intensive care unit visit. Severity of illness between vaccine-associated vs. COVID-19 myocarditis in unvaccinated people is significantly different.
What Parents Should Know About COVID-19 Vaccines
It’s a misconception that COVID-19 only affects adults. As Amy Edwards, MD, Rainbow pediatric infectious disease specialist explains, it’s significantly worse than other respiratory viruses children typically face. In addition, teens are playing a significant role in the spread of COVID-19.Watch Now
Slowing the Spread of COVID-19
Best Source of Info About Vaccines: Your Doctor
Hearing that vaccines are safe and effective directly from someone trained expressly in the medical care of children provides the reassurance that many parents need to move forward with vaccinating their children.Read More