COVID Vaccine for 5-11 Year Olds FAQ

How do I get my child vaccinated?

Free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are available for children ages 5 and older. Arlington County Public Health Clinics

Please note: Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

  • Schedule an appointment.
  • Text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX) or to 822862 (VACUNA) to find nearby vaccine locations.

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  • Contact your child’s pediatrician to ask if they are offering the vaccine to patients.

Do parents or legal guardian need to be present for the child to get the vaccine?
Yes, one parent or legal guardian must be present to provide consent for their dependent child (17 years and younger) to get the vaccine. 

How many doses of Pfizer will my child receive?
Children ages 12–17 will receive two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, separated by 21 days (3 weeks). The dose is the same for children aged 12–17 and adults. Children ages 5–11 will receive two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, separated by 21 days (3 weeks). The dose is one-third of the dose used for older children and adults.

What are the side effects?
The Pfizer vaccine was found to be safe in this age group. The side effects are similar to those seen in older adolescents and young adults. The most frequently reported side effects were pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. Side effects were more common after dose two, were usually mild in severity, and resolved within a few days. 

Are K-12 schools in Virginia requiring COVID-19 vaccination?
There are no plans to mandate that K-12 school children receive a COVID-19 vaccine at this time. The State General Assembly would need to approve that through Virginia’s immunization code.

Can my child get the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same time?
COVID-19 vaccines (regardless of manufacturer) and other vaccines may be administered without regard to timing. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines on the same day, as well as administration within 14 days.

When will children younger than 5 be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine?
Similar to the process for expanding the Pfizer Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to children 5-11 years old and 12-17 years old, the FDA will have to approve the EUA expansion for children younger than age 5. This approval then needs to go to the CDC. Once approved by the CDC director, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will need to endorse the recommendation before Arlington can begin to vaccinate children under 5.