COVID-19 Vaccines for Adolescents and Children

Page updated November 3, 2021

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reviewed the available research and determined that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective at preventing serious illness caused by the coronavirus in individuals as young as age 5.

Illness caused by COVID-19 has been on the rise in this pediatric population. C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and the Michigan Medicine Safety & Efficacy Task Force join the CDC and FDA in recommending vaccination for individuals ages 5 and older.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Ages 5-11

University of Michigan Health will begin offering vaccination to children ages 5-11 at our COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics by appointment only, beginning Monday, November 8, 2021. Scheduling for the COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children ages 5-11 will begin on Friday, November 5.

Information about scheduling your child’s COVID-19 vaccine is available in the below FAQ.

Vaccine Booster Shots

If your child is over the age of 18 and has underlying medical conditions or is at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting, they may choose to receive a booster of the Pfizer vaccine if they received the Pfizer vaccine for their first two doses and their second dose was more than 6 months ago.

For more about vaccine booster shots, visit our COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ page.

Third Vaccine Doses for Patients with Compromised Immunity 

If your child is over the age of 12, has a compromised immunity and has received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, the CDC recommends a third dose at least 28 days after your child’s second dose. More information about who should get a third dose and how to schedule a third dose is available on our COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ page.

Questions and Answers for Parents About the COVID-19 Vaccine and Your Child

How old does my child have to be to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Anyone age 5 and older is now eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Children ages 5-11 receive a smaller dose than children ages 12 and up.

Who cannot get the vaccine?

Your child (or anyone, regardless of age) cannot get the vaccine if any of the following statements is true:

  • They have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 10 days
  • They have received an infusion of COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies in the past 90 days
  • They are allergic to any ingredient in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. A list of the ingredients in the Pfizer vaccine is available on our COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ page on UofMHealth.org under "About the COVID-19 Vaccines".

If your child has a history of allergies, they will be observed for a longer period of time after their injection (at least 30 minutes) by medical personnel onsite and should report any symptoms to the charge nurse during the observation period. Medical staff at all locations are equipped with anaphylaxis kits and supplies to quickly treat anyone experiencing an allergic reaction to the vaccine.

Visit our COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ page on UofMHealth.org for more information about vaccine restrictions and special considerations.

What locations is University of Michigan Health offering appointments for COVID-19 vaccines?

University of Michigan Health is offering COVID-19 vaccination at our COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics at Brighton Health Center, Northville Health Center and our North Campus Research Complex (Building 200) in Ann Arbor.

Appointments are required, and the location of your appointment will be noted when you are scheduling your appointment. Visit the Your Vaccination Appointment page on UofMHealth.org for additional information and maps for our COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic locations.

COVID-19 vaccines are also available through a wide range of retail pharmacies throughout your communities.

How can I schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment with University of Michigan Health for myself or my child?

COVID-19 vaccines are administered by appointment only at our COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics. No walk-up vaccine clinics are currently scheduled.

Scheduling for the COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children ages 5-11 will begin on Friday, November 5.

The easiest way to schedule your child’s vaccine is online, using our MyUofMHealth patient portal

Due to expected high demand, callers may experience long wait times. We strongly recommend using the patient portal to schedule your child’s vaccine online. If you are unable to use the patient portal to schedule an appointment, please call our COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Center at 734-763-6336. Please do not call any of our primary care or specialty clinics to schedule a vaccine appointment.

Vaccines for children ages 12 and up use a different dose than what is used for children ages 5-11, and are scheduled through our adult COVID-19 vaccine clinics.  Click here for information about our general COVID-19 vaccine clinic scheduling.

COVID-19 vaccines are also available through a wide range of retail pharmacies throughout your communities.

How can I get a MyUofMHealth patient portal account with proxy access for my child?

Proxy access for a minor patient is available to parents or legal guardians.

If your child does not have an MRN, call our patient registration team at 734-936-4990 to set one up.

Can my child receive their vaccine at an upcoming primary care or specialist appointment?

We are committed to making COVID-19 vaccination as accessible as possible for our patients. We are also committed to ensuring vaccines are administered under strict safety protocols, as well as ensuring we are able to continue meeting the health care needs of all of our patients at their primary care clinic.

In some cases, a COVID-19 vaccine may be offered to patients ages 5-11 who are being seen for scheduled appointments at select pediatric primary care clinics or at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital facility in Ann Arbor.

COVID-19 vaccine availability at our primary care clinics or at the hospital is subject to vaccine supply and staffing availability and cannot be guaranteed. Please do not contact our pediatric primary care clinics to schedule an appointment for the specific purpose of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, we cannot schedule appointments specifically for COVID-19 vaccine appointments at any of our primary care clinics or at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, nor can we accommodate walk-in appointments at these locations.

Parents wishing to schedule an appointment specifically for a COVID-19 vaccine should schedule one at our established COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics at Brighton Health Center, Northville Health Center, or the North Campus Research Complex (Building 200) in Ann Arbor.

How should I prepare my child for getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

Help them understand why the vaccine is important and what to expect at their appointment. Read more on 5 ways to prepare your child for the COVID vaccine, tips from a child life specialist.

What permissions are needed for a minor to get the vaccine?

A parent or guardian must provide consent for a patient under the age of 18 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If the parent or guardian cannot accompany the patient to their appointment, written consent can be provided. The written consent should be signed and dated by the patient’s parent or guardian and should include the following statement, “As the parent/legal guardian, I give my consent for (patient’s name) to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine.”

How many family members can I bring to my child’s vaccine appointment?

Patients scheduled for a vaccine appointment should be accompanied by no more than one other person, in order to help us maintain social distancing at our vaccine clinics.

Please note that our visitor policy applies to all vaccine appointments. View our most recent visitor policy.

What should we expect at our vaccine appointment?

Visit our “Your Vaccination Appointment” page for more information about what to expect at your Michigan Medicine COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

Our visitor policy applies to all vaccine appointments and only allows for one person to accompany your child at their appointment. View our most recent visitor policy.

In particular, please note that anyone entering the vaccination site, including parents and guardians, will need to complete our COVID screening at or before entering. No one who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 10 days will be permitted to enter.

How much does the vaccine cost?

There is no out-of-pocket cost to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The federal government is providing the vaccine itself at no cost to patients.

There is a vaccine administration fee for supplies, facilities, staffing and other expenses that will be covered in full by your insurance company, Medicaid, Medicare, or the federal government if you do not have insurance.

If you receive a bill in error, please call Patient Financial Experience at 855-855-0863 or 734-615-0863

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

In the vaccine clinical trials, most people did not have serious problems after being vaccinated, and symptoms usually went away on their own within a week. More people experienced these side effects after getting the second dose than the first one.

Common side effects that have been reported with available COVID-19 vaccines include:

  • injection site pain, swelling, or redness
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • joint pain
  • fever
  • nausea
  • feeling unwell
  • swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)

Side effects of individual COVID-19 vaccines may vary. You can find more information about what to expect after getting vaccinated on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html

Can the COVID vaccine affect my child's heart?

For most kids, the vaccine will have no effect on their heart. But health officials are monitoring very rare occurrences of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the lining outside the heart) after vaccination. It’s important to note that while also rare, a COVID-19 infection is more likely to trigger heart inflammation than a vaccine. Read more: 11 things to know about COVID vaccines and kids’ hearts.

More Vaccine Information

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines and availability, visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Update page on UofMHealth.org.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids: Q&A – Part I

As families prepare for the COVID vaccine rollout for children ages 5-11, our medical experts – a pediatric infectious diseases specialist, a pediatric pulmonary (lung) specialist, and a pediatrician – answer parents’ top questions about vaccinations for kids. The livestream held on September 17, 2021 addressed concerns and misconceptions about vaccine side effects and allergic reactions, the vaccine causing myocarditis and issues with fertility or menstruation, and much more. To view the full list of questions, please reference the full video description on YouTube. It includes timestamped links to direct you to specific questions and answers discussed throughout the livestream.


COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids: Q&A – Part II

Upon receiving the initial data release of the COVID vaccine clinical study conducted on children aged 5-11, our medical experts – a pediatric infectious diseases specialist, a pediatric cardiologist and a pediatric hospitalist – assembled for another livestream on October 29, 2021. This time addressing how the vaccine safety and efficacy was tested in kids 5-11, how families can weigh risks versus benefits, and more.