Frequently Asked Questions About COVID Vaccinations for Adolescents
VIEW THE FULL FAQ ON COVID VACCINATION (State Department of Health Webpage)
Q: Is the state going to require COVID-19 vaccination for school entry?
The State Board of Health determines school immunization requirements, and not the Department of Health. There has been no information from the State Board of Health around making COVID-19 vaccination a school requirement at this time.
Older students preparing to go to college in the fall should check with their higher education institution for COVID-19 vaccine requirements.
Q: Will there be any flexibility in school immunization requirements for the 2021-2022 school year given the COVID-19 pandemic?
The State Board of Health determines if there should be any changes to school immunization requirements. At this point, school immunization requirements will remain the same. Children will need to meet vaccination requirements before they can attend the first day of school. Find out what vaccines are required for school at www.doh.wa.gov/scci.
Q: What ages of children can be vaccinated against COVID-19 disease?
People ages 12 and over can get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Youth who are 12 to 17 years of age may need consent from a parent or guardian to get the vaccine, unless they are legally emancipated.
Check with the vaccine clinic about their requirements for showing proof of parental consent or legal emancipation.
Q: Can my child get other immunizations while they get their COVID-19 vaccination?
People can now get the COVID-19 vaccine within 14 days of other vaccines, including on the same day.
Q: Is COVID-19 vaccination safe for my child?
In Pfizer’s most recent vaccine trial, they found the vaccine to be safe and 100% effective for kids as young as 12. The company reported the vaccine produced an antibody response in children that exceeded those in earlier trials of older teens and young adults.
The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices conducted a review to ensure they could safely recommend the vaccine. In addition, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup gave input on vaccine safety and efficacy of the vaccine. Both groups voted to recommend the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people 12 years of age and older.
Q: Do I need to provide consent to get my child vaccinated?
In most cases, yes. Check with your vaccine provider to see what their requirements are for providing consent to vaccinate a child age 12 or older.
Q: Do children get different amounts or doses of COVID-19 vaccine compared to an adult?
Children receive the same Pfizer vaccine dosage and vaccine series as adults.
Q: How will the state track COVID-19 vaccine?
The Department of Health uses a program called PrepMod, along with our state’s Immunization Information System (IIS), to track COVID-19 vaccinations.
The IIS is a lifetime registry that keeps track of immunization records for people of all ages. The system is a secure, web-based tool for health care providers and schools. The IIS connects people who receive, administer, record, and order vaccines in Washington. One of our planning areas is to ensure that the system can meet the demands of a COVID-19 vaccine program, and ensure the registry connects with any federal systems. Parents are able to see their own and their child’s records from the IIS using the consumer portal, MyIR.
Q: Can COVID-19 vaccine affect my child’s reproductive health?
This is a myth circulated online by non-scientific sources. There is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), anyone who may want to get pregnant in the future can get the COVID-19 vaccine. See Coronavirus (COVID-19), Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding: A Message for Patients for more information.
See the FDA COVID-19 Vaccines webpage for facts about the vaccines. Once additional vaccines are approved, the FDA will share their information as well.
Q: What types of symptoms are normal after receiving the vaccine?
Like other routine vaccines, the most common side effects are a sore arm, fatigue, headache, and muscle pain.
These symptoms are a sign that the vaccine is working. In the Pfizer and Moderna trials, these side effects occurred most often within two days of getting the vaccine, and lasted about a day. Side effects were more common after the second dose than the first dose.
For all three vaccines, people over 55 were less likely to report side effects than younger people.
Clinical trials found that approximately:
- Eighty percent of people reported pain at the injection site
- Fifty percent of people reported fatigue and headache
- Thirty percent of people reported muscle pain
You may see some rumors about untrue side effects online or on social media. Make sure any time you see a claim about a side effect that you check the source of that claim. This video can teach you more about how to figure out if a claim online is true or not.