Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

COVID 19 Vaccine Is Now Available for Children 5 to 11

Image of 5-year-old girl in mask reads a book by herself. Click to open a larger version of the image. Karina Melendez, 5, reads a book in the reading corner of a Fort Bliss Child Development Center, Aug. 10, 2020. Now, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 5 through11 year olds has been authorized and is being offered to protect this age group against COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

The Military Health System is poised to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to children ages 5 through 11 years following issuance of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Pfizer-BioNTech for its COVID-19 vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The move will boost the military community's defenses against a possible surge of COVID-19 as winter approaches and ease the worries of parents weary of the pandemic and its effects on children and their schooling.

"This will help protect the whole family and slow the spread of COVID-19 in your community and household," said Amy Swarthout-Ebarb, a clinical nurse educator for the Defense Health Agency's Immunization Healthcare Division (DHA-IHD) in San Antonio, Texas.

"For families, parents and older siblings have received the vaccine. The younger ones are just waiting," she said.

The new pediatric vaccine is important "because children 5-11 can still transmit the COVID-19 virus, potentially affecting those who are not vaccinated and are at risk," Swarthout-Ebarb said.

There are nearly 1 million children 5 through11 years of age who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the Defense Department, according to Air Force Col. (Dr.) Tonya Rans, chief of the DHA-IHD.

On Nov. 2, Pfizer-BioNTech's 5 through 11 year old COVID-19 vaccine product was recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a safe and effective option for children.

There is no Defense Department requirement for children within the Military Health System to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Military health officials are encouraging parents to talk with their health care providers about any questions or concerns they may have about this vaccine.

"The providers are the best people to give advice to parents," said Dr. David Hrncir, medical director, Central Vaccine Safety Hub, DHA-IHD.

"Pediatricians are good at this and will present the COVID-19 vaccine as just another vaccine" that children should take, he said.

Medical experts say the benefits of administering the vaccine to children to protect against COVID-19 outweigh the possible increased risk of the rare side effect called myocarditis, or an inflammation of the heart muscle.

Five to 11 year-olds rarely report problems with vaccines, Hrncir said.

Pediatric doses

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine dose for children is one-third smaller than the adult version, at 10 mcg versus the 30 mcg dose for those 12 years and older. The vaccine for children is given as two doses three weeks apart, a two-step sequence similar to the adult version.

Pfizer studied approximately 3,100 children ages 5 to 11 in clinical trials. The 10 mcg dose was carefully selected as the preferred dose for safety, tolerability and immunogenicity in children 5 to 11 years of age, according to the company.

The vaccines are also packaged differently to help differentiate the adult doses from the pediatric version.

The vaccine intended for people ages 12 and up has a purple or gray cap and label for adults and adolescents. To distinguish between the vaccines, the pediatric version, for children ages 5 through 11 years, has an orange label and cap.

For now, Pfizer-BioNTech offers the only FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine for those 5 through 11 years. Other pharmaceutical companies may seek approval for this age group in the future.

You also may be interested in...

VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Video
5/28/2021
VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Dr. LC Collins encourages people who are breastfeeding to get the vaccine. Since the vaccine doesn't contain live virus, you can't pass COVID to your baby.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Video
5/28/2021
VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting the first vaccine available to you. Don't hold out for a certain brand; they're all safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

What is an mRNA vaccine?

Video
5/28/2021
What is an mRNA vaccine?

Dr. LC Collins explains how mRNA vaccines work to protect you from COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Adolescents ages 12 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/27/2021
Son of military personnel receiving his COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer vaccine now authorized for children 12 and older.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Vaccination Card Second Shot

Infographic
5/27/2021
COVID-19 Vaccination Card Second Shot

Keep track of your vaccination card. Tips include keeping your card on you and taking a picture of it as a backup copy.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Costs and Documentation | Coronavirus

Got Your 6 - May 26, 2021

Video
5/26/2021
Got Your 6 - May 26, 2021

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Town Hall May 26 2021

Video
5/26/2021
Town Hall May 26 2021

RADM Anne Swap will discuss the National Capital Region's response to COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | Direct Reporting Markets

COVID-19 Town Hall with RADM Anne M. Swap

Article
5/24/2021
MHS and Military OneSource NCR COVID-19 Town Hall with Rear Admiral Anne M. Swap, Director, National Capital Medical Directorate, Wednesday, May 26 at 11:50 a.m. ET

The purpose of this event is to inform National Capital Region (NCR) beneficiaries of DHA’s efforts with battling coronavirus (COVID-19) and encourage them to not delay care.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Adirim, Place laud DHA response to COVID-19 in briefing

Article
5/21/2021
Defense Health Agency Director Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place speaking at a press conference

Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, provided a COVID-19 update during a Pentagon press briefing.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

Sailors continue to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Article
5/20/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

Sailors continue to voluntarily receive one of the three available COVID-19 vaccines.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Vax Facts: Recommendations for Pregnancy

Video
5/20/2021
Vax Facts: Recommendations for Pregnancy

The COVID vaccine is recommended for pregnant people. Watch to learn how your doctor can help you make the best decision for you and your baby.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Vax Facts: Risk and Precautions

Video
5/20/2021
Vax Facts: Risk and Precautions

If you're fully vaccinated, there are options for safer activities. Watch to learn what activities you can resume once you're fully vaccinated.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Vax Facts: I'm fully vaccinated. What can I do?

Video
5/20/2021
Vax Facts: I'm fully vaccinated. What can I do?

If you're fully vaccinated, there are options for safer activities. Watch to learn what activities you can resume once you're fully vaccinated.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DHA Director visits MCAGCC to hear from the ‘Boots on the Ground’

Article
5/19/2021
Military personnel wearing face masks walking

DHA Director visits Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | Coronavirus | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

MHS quickly adapted to improve patient experience during pandemic

Article
5/19/2021
Military health personnel waiting for the next phone call on the COVID-19 advice line

MHS adapted technology to boost patient experience during pandemic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 106 - 120 Page 8 of 34

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.