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Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs

Should I vaccinate my child?

Yes, everyone age 6 months and older should get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. Although fewer children have been infected with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can:

  • Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Get very sick from COVID-19
  • Experience both short and long-term health complications from COVID-19
  • Spread COVID-19 to others

Did you know?


Booster Doses

Many available vaccines require boosters. Booster doses help increase your child's immune response, which may decline over time.

  • Kids age 5 to under 12 years are eligible for a Pfizer COVID booster 5 months after completion of their primary vaccination series.
  • Kids age 12 to under 18 years are eligible for a Pfizer COVID booster 2 months after their last COVID vaccine dose.

Use the CDC COVID-19 booster tool to learn if and when your child or teen can get boosters to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.

Third Doses

For some immunocompromised children aged 5–11 years old, CDC now recommends an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to complete the primary series – a total of three doses. Learn more.

MaineHealth practices are currently giving third doses to those who need them. If your child age 5-11 years old is moderately or severely immunocompromised and you have not already been contacted, please call your MaineHealth family doctor or pediatrician for more information.

Three-Dose Primary Vaccine Series

Children age 6 months to under 5 years are eligible for Pfizer's 3-dose primary vaccine series for this age group.

  • 2 doses 21 days apart, followed by a 3rd dose 2 months later

In this case, the 3rd dose is not considered a booster dose. Rather, it completes the primary vaccine series for this age group.

Age 12-18: Visit one of our walk-in vaccination clinics anytime within the posted hours for your first COVID-19 vaccine dose. We'll help you schedule your second dose appointment while you are there. Online scheduling is also available at some locations.

Age 6 months to under 12 years: Contacting your family doctor or pediatrician is the most convenient way to get your child vaccinated. MaineHealth is offering COVID-19 vaccination appointments for this age group at some of our pediatric practices and online scheduling is available for some locations. Other options include:

Primary Vaccine Series

If your child receives their first dose at a MaineHealth location or clinic, we will help you schedule their second and third dose appointments (if needed) during that appointment.

Booster Dose Appointments

Children and teens age 5 years and older are eligible for a booster 5 months after their second Pfizer dose. Contacting your family doctor or pediatrician is the most convenient way to schedule a booster dose appointment for your child.

  • Online self-scheduling for booster shot appointments is available at some MaineHealth locations.
  • We also offer booster shots on a walk-in basis at some locations.
  • You may also call 877-780-7545 to schedule a MaineHealth COVID-19 booster shot appointment at select locations.

Yes, vaccination is safe for children 6 months and older. The benefits outweigh any potential risks. Get your children vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. Vaccination will help protect your child from severe illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19 infection. Vaccination will also help prevent your child from transmitting the virus to others.

Age 5 years - under 12 years

  • Clinical trials were conducted and the Pfizer vaccine met all criteria required for emergency use by the FDA
  • The vaccine was studied in approximately 3,100 children age 5 through 11, who received the vaccine
  • No serious side effects have been detected in the ongoing study
  • The vaccines continue to be monitored very closely
  • Per CDC guidance, COVID-19 vaccines will have the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history

    Age 6 months to under 5 or 6 years

    View the vaccine fact sheets:

    Learn more about the process of developing, authorizing and approving COVID-19 vaccines.

    Like many vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines may cause mild side effects, like a sore arm, body aches, headache, a fever, or tiredness for a day or two. These are signs that your child’s immune system is responding to the vaccine and building immunity to the virus.

    • Use the V-safe health checker to tell the CDC about any symptoms your child had after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 
    Yes, your child may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including the flu vaccine, at the same time. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports kids getting routine immunizations at the same time as, or close to when they, get a COVID-19 vaccine. This is especially important if kids missed getting some vaccines during the pandemic.
    Yes, kids and young adults can and should get a vaccine even if they have had COVID-19. After they are fully recovered from illness due to COVID-19, vaccination can help protect kids and young adults from getting sick again.

    There are no known risks to getting the vaccine after being infected with coronavirus. And, it is thought that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with just having had COVID-19.
    Kids and teens are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completion of their primary vaccine series. After that, it is important to continue practices that help limit the spread of COVID-19. For example, you and your child or teen should still wear a mask indoors in public settings to protect yourself and others.

    Occasionally, a vaccinated person may get infected with the virus or even get mild symptoms. This is called a "breakthrough infection." But, the vaccine is very good at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19.

    Learn more about what you and your child or teen can do after being fully-vaccinated.

    The vaccines are the same but the dosages are lower for children under 12 years old.

    Pfizer Age 5 years to under 12 years

    • The Pfizer primary vaccine series for this age groups is two doses at one third the strength of adult doses.

    Pfizer Age 6 months to under 5 years

    • The Pfizer primary vaccine series for this age group is three doses at one tenth the strength of adult doses.

    Moderna Age 6 months to under 6 years

    • The Moderna primary vaccine series for this age group is two doses at one quarter the strength of adult doses.                                            

    View the vaccine fact sheets:

    Nathan Bennett holds son Zachary Bennett on his lap during an appointment at MMP Westbrook Pediatrics

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