INDIANAPOLIS — On Tuesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off to make children as young as five eligible to get Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine under an emergency use authorization.
This comes after a CDC advisory committee voted 14-0 to allow a lower dose of the Pfizer vaccine to be administered to children.
Here's what you need to know.
What vaccines are available to kids?
At this time, Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is only available to those five and older. The CDC's website has a helpful table showing what vaccines are available to who.
Is it the same as the vaccine for those 12 and older?
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is still the same, but the dosage is different. According to the CDC, children ages five through 11 will receive one-third of the adult dosage. The needle size is smaller and the packaging vaccination sites receive the vaccines in is different.
Can children get the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, like the flu shot, at the same time?
According to the CDC, children can get the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same time.
Will the vaccine give COVID-19 to children?
No. To learn more about mRNA vaccines work, click here.
Where can children get the COVID-19 vaccine?
There are several sites already in Marion County and throughout central Indiana. Click here to learn more.
Parents will be able to find clinics offering the pediatric dosage on ourshot.in.gov.
How do you schedule an appointment?
Some vaccination sites may not require an appointment.
To learn more and schedule an appointment, starting Thursday, parents can visit ourshot.in.gov or call 211.
Do parents need to come with the child to the vaccination sites?
Parental or guardian consent is required for children to receive the vaccine, according to the Indiana Department of Health. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at the vaccination appointment.
Will all school districts be tracking which kids get vaccinated?
This isn't clear at this time. Some school districts, including Indianapolis Public Schools, have been allowing vaccinated students and staff members to provide their vaccination status since the beginning of the school year.
Will this mean the end of masks being required in schools?
It's too early to tell. So far, it appears no school district in central Indiana has revised its mask policies because of the developments.
Should children take a pain reliever before getting the vaccine to prevent possible side effects?
No, the CDC is NOT recommending this.
What are the possible side effects?
According to the CDC, children may experience pain, redness and swelling on the arm where the child got the shot. They may also experience tiredness, headaches, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea.
Some people don't have any side effects. If they do, the side effects should go away in a few days.
The CDC said parents should contact their child's healthcare provider for advice before using a pain reliever and other steps after they get the shot. The CDC recommends parents place a cool, damp cloth on the spot where their child got their shot to help with any discomfort.