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COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

get the facts and get vaccinated

Information for Parents and caregivers of children and adolescents

This page contains COVID-19 information specific to children and adolescents, including vaccines, school safety, testing, treatments, and resources.


Just like adults, children can be infected, get sick, and spread COVID-19 to others. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination for children ages 6 months and older, including a booster dose after completion of the primary vaccine series, to strengthen their immune systems, especially for children with compromised immune systems, so they don't get infected, get sick, or spread COVID-19 to others:

  • Vaccinating children can help protect family members, including siblings who are not eligible for vaccination and family members who may be at increased risk of getting very sick if they are infected.
  • Vaccination can also help keep children from getting seriously sick even if they do get COVID-19.
  • Vaccinating children ages 6 months and older can help keep them in daycare and school and help them safely participate in sports, playdates, and other group activities.

The total number of vaccine doses appropriate for your child and the recommended timing of shots depend on how old your child is and what brand of vaccine they are getting. See the current COVID-19 vaccine recommendations from the CDC for more information. Your child's pediatrician will be able to tell you what shots your child should get and when they should get them.

Before your child's vaccination visit:

  • If you child has already had COVID-19, wait to schedule the appointment until after they can stop isolation.
  • Schedule any other routine vaccinations for the same visit. Children can safely receive other vaccines the same day they receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Note: For children under 18 years of age, written consent from a parent or legal guardian is required for vaccines granted emergency use authorization and not yet fully approved by United States Food and Drug Administration (G.S. § 90-21.5). For general questions call the Public Health Hotline at 980-314-9400 (option 3 for English; opción 8 para español).

During your child's vaccination visit:

  • Tell the provider if your child has any allergies to any ingredient in the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Comfort your child during the appointment.
  • To prevent fainting and injuries related to fainting, your child should be seated or lying down during vaccination and for 15 minutes after the vaccine is given.
  • After your child's COVID-19 vaccination, you will be asked to stay for 15 - 30 minutes for observation in case they have a severe allergic reaction and need immediate treatment.

After your child's vaccination visit:

  • Your child may have some mild side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection, that will go away after a couple days. Learn more about side effects from the CDC.
  • Keep your child's CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card with you and bring it to their next vaccination appointment. 

School and Child Care Safety

If your child is exposed to COVID-19 at school or at home, follow the guidance on the CDC's What to Do If You Were Exposed to COVID-19 page. 

If your child tests postive for COVID-19 or shows any symptoms, follow the guidance on the CDC's Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19 page.

Read the CDC's Schools and Childcare Programs page for recommended strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and maintain safe operations in schools, child care programs, and institutions of higher education. If you are unsure what steps your child's school is taking to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, ask a teacher or administrator to explain the school's COVID-19 safety strategies.

Mecklenburg County Public Health follows  and NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) guidance for child care, camps, and students, staff, and faculty in K-12 schools. Visit the links below to review this guidance:


Children of all ages can be tested for COVID-19 by a health care provider. Parents or caregivers should contact their health care provider for advice before scheduling a testing appointment for children under 2 years old.

Children as young as 2 years old can be tested using at-home rapid antigen or PCR tests. Official guidelines do not recommend at-home testing for children under 2 years old. The instructions included with the test kits provide specific recommendations for children.
For more information about COVID-19 tests, testing locations, and what your results mean, visit our testing page


Some treatments for COVID-19 have been authorized by the FDA for use in children, and more are currently in development or undergoing evaluation. To learn more, visit our treatments page and the What to do if you feel sick page from NC DHHS.

The following treatments used for COVID-19 are available only in a hospital or acute health care setting and/or by prescription, so the first step is to talk with your health care provider:

  • Remdesivir (brand name Veklury), an antiviral drug that is given intravenously, is approved for treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 infection in certain high-risk adults and children weighing at least 7.7 pounds who have tested positive for COVID-19. Learn more about remdesivir from the FDA.
  • Paxlovid, an antiviral drug developed by Pfizer that is given orally, is authorized for treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 infection for certain high-risk individuals age 12 and older who weigh at least 88 pounds who



Recorded Information Sessions about COVID-19 Vaccinations and Children: