COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics recommends all children 12 and older receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Please review our Frequently Asked Questions below or contact your pediatrician for more information.

How do I schedule an appointment for my child to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

If your child is age 12 or older they are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Our pediatricians recommend your child be vaccinated. You can schedule a vaccine appointment by calling 844-UPMCVAC (844-876-2822) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. seven days a week..

Why can’t I go to my UPMC CCP office to receive the vaccine?

Right now, only Pfizer’s vaccine is approved for children 12-years and older. This vaccine must be stored at deep freeze temperatures that are not typically available in doctor’s offices.

Does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

According to data reported by Pfizer and Moderna, both vaccines are more than 94% effective in preventing COVID-19. All are highly effective in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19. They have been received by tens of millions of people. The effectiveness of the vaccine will continue to be monitored as distribution continues

Can we trust that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for our child?

The FDA has reviewed the safety and efficacy of the vaccine demonstrated by initial rigorous large studies and monitoring of millions of people who have received the vaccine all over the world.

Does the vaccine have any side effects?

The most common side effects to the vaccines include pain and swelling where you received the shot, fever, chills, fatigue, and headache. These are common for many vaccines because a vaccine triggers an immune response. The side effects should go away within a few days.

Is the vaccine a live virus?

No. The COVID-19 vaccine does not include the live virus that causes COVID-19.

Can the vaccine give my child COVID-19?

No. Since the COVID-19 vaccine does not include the live virus that causes COVID-19, your child cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

What if my child has allergies to vaccines?

There have been some reports of isolated allergic reactions to the vaccine, which scientists are investigating. Allergic reactions to vaccines are not common and are typically mild. The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA-based. If your child previously had an allergic reaction to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, they should not get the vaccine.

If your child had an allergic reaction to the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC does not recommend they receive a second dose.

If your child has a history of anaphylaxis or severe allergic reaction to a vaccine, vaccine component, or injectable medication, you should consult your pediatrician or allergist before your child receives the COVID-19 vaccine.

Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause fertility issues?

No. There is no evidence that the vaccine has any effects on fertility.

If children do not get as sick as adults, why should I vaccine my child against COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a complex and unpredictable illness. Symptoms can be mild or severe and life-threatening. There have been lingering effects in people of all ages.

After my child receives the vaccine, will they be contagious for COVID-19?

No. Since the COVID-19 vaccine does not include the live virus that causes COVID-19, your child cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine or give it to anyone that they come in contact with.

When is my child considered fully vaccinated after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

In general, people are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna.

After my child is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, do they need to wear a mask?

Yes, currently the CDC recommends that your child continue to wear a mask in indoor public spaces since the vaccination of other people in these spaces is likely unknown.

After my child is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, do they need to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19?

No. You should monitor your child for symptoms if they have been exposed to COVID-19. If symptoms such as fever or cough develop, please contact your pediatrician.

My child just received routine vaccines at his annual well visit. Do I have to wait a certain amount of time before getting him the COVID-19 vaccine?

No. COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines may now be administered without regard to timing.