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What Parents Need to Know about Kids and the COVID-19 Vaccine


​​​​​To help in the fight against the coronavirus, Boys Town National Research Hospital and Medical Clinics encourages our patients, their families and our community to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation for those 5 years and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

Boys Town Pediatrics and Boys Town Internal Medicine will be offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to patients ages 5 and older. Call 531-355-1234 or your primary care clinic today to schedule a vaccine appointment for you and/or your child. Boys Town Pediatrics and Boys Town Internal Medicine DO NOT charge for the vaccine, an office visit or for administration fees. This vaccine is completely free.


Common Parents Questions Answered by Our Pediatricians

What vaccine(s) are approved for children?

Boys Town Medical Clinics is issuing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which is the only vaccine FDA-authorized for children 5 years and older. Vaccines are not yet authorized for children 4 and younger.

Is the vaccine safe and effective?

A Pfizer-BioNTech clinical trial for children ages 12 to 15 showed that children's immune systems responded similarly to those of older teens and young adults. The recent clinical trial focused on children ages 5 to 11 showed similar results to adult trials, with mild, self-limiting side effects and 91 percent of participants showing protection against COVID-19.

What makes the vaccine effective is that it produces a piece of the virus called a spike protein. While not an active virus, this structure mimics COVID-19 and teaches the body how to react should it recognize an active COVID-19 spike protein in the future.

What you should know:

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.
  • COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • You may have side effects after vaccination. These are normal and should go away in a few days.
  • It typically takes 2 weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. You are not fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after the second dose of a 2-dose vaccine or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine.​

There is some information circulating about specific safety concerns. Parents should know that this vaccine:

  • Does not contain a live virus
  • Does not change a patient's DNA
  • Does not affect fertility

What should I expect when my child gets the vaccine?

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a two-shot series. The second shot will be given three weeks after the first.

Clinical trials have shown that some recipients have side effects as a result of the vaccine. This is a normal reaction to the body building protection, and the benefits of receiving the vaccine outweigh the risk of any potential side effects.

The CDC provides this simple infographic for explaining potential side effects. Remember, not everyone will have these effects. If your child has no side effects, that does not mean the vaccine isn't working.​

CDC Mask Infographic  

The vaccine is free to all people living in the U.S., regardless of immigration or health insurance status. This means you should not pay at all – no copays, no administration fees, no office visit fee, nothing. (The only exception is if you receive the vaccine from your doctor and receive other services at the same visit. Then you can be charged for those other services, but not for the COVID-19 vaccine.)

Additional COVID-19 Resources

View CDC Information Sheet

View the Pfizer Fact Sheet