COVID-19 Vaccine Approved for Children Ages 12 and Older

by Delilah Newton | May 12, 2021

Although not available yet for all children, studies and research has been completed to better understand the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in children. The vaccine is similar in nature to other vaccines your child may have received in their lifetime, with the goal of protecting them from disease or from spreading disease to others. 

Currently, (as of May, 2021), only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for adolescents that are 12-17 years of age. It is anticipated that vaccines will be available for those under 12 at some point in 2021.

How to Register Your Eligible Child for the COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Visit the state registration website at ourshot.in.gov. Enter your ZIP code to search for a site that offers the Pfizer vaccine. Select a site that is labeled “PVAX” as in Pfizer vaccine. Complete the registration fields and submit. You will receive an email confirmation.
  • Parents must accompany patients under the age of 16 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Parents may give consent for patients 16-17 years old and may either go with their child to the appointment or provide written authorization if unaccompanied.
  • Please provide insurance information, if you have it. The vaccine is free, but the insurance company may be charged an administration fee. If you don’t have insurance, please proceed, you will still be able to schedule your child’s vaccination at no cost.

CRH COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Offering Walk-Ins 
Columbus Regional Health is offering walk-in vaccinations at our vaccine clinic located at 1702 Keller Avenue, Columbus, Indiana, where the Pfizer vaccine is available. Parents must accompany patients under the age of 16 at the CRH Clinic. Find walk-in hours at crh.org/vaccine.

If you need assistance in scheduling a vaccination, call 211 or contact a WellConnect Connection Specialist at 812-376-5136.

VIDEO: COVID Vaccine and Children


Dr. Jennifer Hartwell of Columbus Pediatrics discusses the impact of the COVID-19 virus on children and adolescents and the safety and efficacy of the vaccine for children ages 12 and up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How effective is the vaccine in children?
A. Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has shown 100% efficacy in trials involving youth ages 12-15. Generally children don’t have other health issues, such as diabetes and obesity, like adults do, so are more likely to have a good immune response.

Q. How does the vaccine work?
A. The vaccine teaches our immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (otherwise known as immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. People are considered fully protected two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Q. I’ve heard that most children don’t typically get COVID-19. Why do they need to be vaccinated? 
A. Children often have milder, less serious cases of COVID-19, but they can be silent spreaders of the virus. Unvaccinated students run the risk of unknowingly transmitting COVID-19 to older adults, who are at risk of more severe disease. 

Q. After my child receives the vaccine, is it safe to stop wearing a mask at school?
A. In public and at school, your child will still want to take precautions, such as wearing a mask, physically distancing from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. Experts are still researching things like how long the protection from the vaccine lasts and if it prevents you from giving the disease to other people and will update the guidance for vaccinated people as new information emerges.

Q. What are the side effects of the vaccine?
A. After your child gets the shot, he or she will be asked to stay for 15-30 minutes to monitor for reactions, which are rare. Many people will have no side effects. Some may experience:

  • Pain, swelling, or bleeding at the injection site
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fever (usually less than 100.4 degrees F)

The vaccine cannot give your child COVID-19. Call your doctor if the arm in which your child got the shot feels worse after 24 hours or if your child’s side effects do not go away after a few days.

Q. How much does it cost to get the vaccine (shot)?
A. The vaccine is free to the patient. However, vaccine providers can bill the patient’s insurance for a fee to administer the vaccine. 

To learn more, visit crh.org/vaccine.

Source: Indiana State Department of Health; pfizer.com


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