COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects in Children and Teens

Common COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

Children ages 5 through 11 years

A review of vaccine safety data for children ages 5 through 11 years found that side effects most commonly reported after getting vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were mild and brief. These side effects were more common after the second dose and include:

  • Headache
  • Pain in the arm where the shot was given
  • Tiredness

Children and teens ages 12 through 17 years

For children and teens ages 12 through 17 years, the most commonly reported side effects after getting the first two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are:

  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Pain in the arm where the shot was given

Possible Side Effects after Booster Shot

Reactions reported after getting a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot were like those after the initial two doses (i.e., primary series). Overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. However, as with the primary series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur.

Help Manage Side Effects after Vaccination

In general, aspirin is not recommended for use in anyone younger than 18 years old. Aspirin puts children at risk for Reye’s syndrome, which can cause swelling in the brain and liver. Placing a cool, damp cloth on the area of the arm where the shot was given can help with discomfort.

Ask your child’s doctor for advice on using a non-aspirin pain reliever and other steps you can take at home after your child gets vaccinated.

Get Started with v-safe

After getting your child vaccinated, enroll them in the v-safe After Vaccination Health Checker. v-safe provides personalized and confidential health check-ins after COVID-19 vaccination.

Learn more about v-safe and share with other parents and caregivers the importance of enrolling after vaccination.

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