Coronavirus Update:What patients and families need to know
Coronavirus Vaccine FAQs
Why Should My Child Get the COVID Vaccine?
In this Rise and Shine article, Alexandra Brugler Yonts, M.D., explains why it’s important to protect your child from getting sick, as well as preventing complications of COVID-19 like multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and post-acute COVID-syndrome.
Last Updated: August 4, 2021
Now that several coronavirus vaccines are becoming available, you probably have some questions about the vaccines and when you and your family can expect to receive them. To help you, we’ve compiled some FAQs about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Children's National Hospital Vaccinations
Yes. Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Children’s National is administering the Pfizer vaccine to individuals ages 12-22. Parents/caregivers can also request vaccination from Children’s National Hospital as a walk-in on Mondays and Tuesdays at the main hospital from 10 a.m. – noon. Families with children age 12 and above can request an appointment by calling 202-476-1022 during regular business hours. The FDA has not approved vaccines for children younger than 12 at this time.
Children’s National and HSC inpatients who meet age requirements will also be provided the vaccine when it’s considered appropriate for them by the medical team.
Families with children age 12 and above can request an appointment by calling 202-476-1022 during regular business hours. Currently, the FDA has not approved vaccines for children younger than 12 at this time.
No, one parent or guardian must be on-site to consent to their dependent child below the age of 18 getting the vaccine. Parental consent for dependent children is required since the vaccine has been approved through an FDA Emergency Use Authorization. Telephone or electronic consent is not permitted – the parent or guardian must be present at the vaccine appointment.
We are vaccinating individuals who are ages 12-22. Parents/caregivers can also request vaccination from Children’s National Hospital as a walk-in on Mondays and Tuesdays at the main hospital from 10 a.m. – noon.
Pfizer is conducting clinical trials in children younger than 12, we expect news on the results of those trials later this year. In late May 2021, Moderna is poised to request emergency use authorization to administer their vaccine to children age 12 and up. Johnson & Johnson is still studying their vaccines on children younger than 18 years of age.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is urging federal agencies to support timely, but safe, development of COVID-19 vaccines for children, to help understand any potential unique immune responses and/or safety concerns in children.
If you have a child age 12 or older who is interested in the vaccine, you can request an appointment by calling 202-476-1022 during regular business hours.
Yes, after the FDA issued the Emergency Use Authorization for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, we developed a plan to administer the vaccine to inpatients. Between April 1 and April 12, 2021, we administered 15 doses.
We suspended our use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine based on guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On April 23, 2021, the CDC and the FDA recommended that the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine could resume in the United States, after a temporary pause. We are currently only offering the Pfizer vaccine to individuals age 12-22. Parents/caregivers can also request vaccination from Children’s National Hospital as a walk-in on Mondays and Tuesdays at the main hospital from 10 a.m. – noon.
General Vaccine Information
There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines available — one created by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, one created by Moderna and one created by Johnson & Johnson.
- The Pfizer vaccine can be administered to people ages 12 years and older, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for use in people aged 18 years and older.
- The vaccine requires 2 doses.
- You will need to sign a consent before receiving the vaccine.
- You should not get the vaccine if you have had a severe allergic reaction after a previous vaccines.
- Be prepared to stay for a minimum of 15 minutes after the vaccine to be observed.
- Wear sleeveless or short sleeve clothing.
- Call to cancel if you are sick or have a fever.
Children’s National will bill your insurance for the drug administration. Children’s National will not collect any copay nor will you be billed for any remaining balance.
Make sure your child has eaten well and is hydrated prior to receiving the vaccine. The appointment itself should take only about 20 minutes. We encourage parents to discuss health concerns with their primary care physician prior to coming in for the vaccine. Questions about side effects, allergies and other topics are best answered by the child’s pediatrician.
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people in the United States have received these vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.
You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects. Read more from the CDC about potential side effects.
The CDC and the FDA continue to monitor potential side effects and/or rare adverse reactions. Learn more about the ongoing safety monitoring of the COVID-19 vaccines.
We recommend that parents monitor their children for symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath and fast or irregular heartbeat that may be consistent with myocarditis, and immediately report those symptoms to their doctor.
The CDC has said that it is okay for fully vaccinated individuals to stop wearing masks indoors and outdoors. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving your second vaccine dose. However, this is an individual decision and certain factors, such as spending time around immunocompromised individuals or those at particularly high risk for severe disease, may make someone want to continue mask-wearing in those situations. Additionally, state, local and individual business regulations still apply until otherwise noted. If you are not yet fully vaccinated, you should not stop wearing a mask and should continue to practice safety measures like social distancing and frequent handwashing to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19. The CDC has been updating its guidelines on mask-wearing as the vaccine rates rise. View the most recent guidelines on the CDC webpage.