Fast Facts about the COVID-19 vaccine for Babies and Children Under 5:

The COVID-19 vaccination for babies and children is finally here! Everyone in the family can now be protected against COVID-19. Here are the facts about the vaccine for our littlest children.

  • Most children under 5 will be vaccinated at their pediatrician’s office. Call your child’s provider to see if they have the vaccine.

  • Pharmacies generally do not provide vaccinations of any kind for children under 3*, and some may not carry the vaccine for children under 5.

  • The Baltimore City Health Department and the Maryland Department of Health are both running vaccination clinics.

  • Visit www.covidvax.maryland.gov to find a vaccination site and make an appointment.


*CVS Minute Clinic pharmacy locations are staffed with licensed practitioners and are the only locations currently offering doses to children 18 months to 4 years old

Where to Get It

The Vaccine is Safe

  • Both Moderna and Pfizer are safe and effective. 

  • These vaccines are tailored for babies and toddlers. It’s not grandma’s vaccine! This vaccine is just right for our littlest children.

  • All vaccines must be independently reviewed by a panel of experts before they are approved for full– or in this case emergency– use. You can read the findings submitted by the FDA’s independent review panels for Pfizer and Moderna’s baby vaccines, and their reasons for supporting these new vaccines.

  • COVID is among the leading causes of death for young children.

  • Half of young children hospitalized for COVID were previously healthy with no underlying conditions. Even healthy children should be vaccinated against COVID.

The Vaccine is Needed

  • In all other age groups, COVID vaccines have successfully protected against hospitalizations, serious illness, and death. 

  • Children under 2 years are not able to wear masks. Getting them vaccinated is something you can do to protect them from COVID.

The Vaccine is Effective

Vaccine side effects happen soon after vaccination. Vaccine side effects don’t appear months or years later. 

  • Common side effects for children 4 years and older:

    • Pain, swelling, and redness in the arm where the shot was given

    • Fever

    • Tiredness

    • Headache

    • Chills

    • Muscle or joint pain

    • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Common side effects for children 3 years and younger:

    • Pain where the shot was given

    • Swollen lymph nodes

    • Irritability or crying

    • Sleepiness

    • Loss of appetite

Side Effects

There are benefits to getting your little one vaccinated beyond preventing COVID hospitalizations and deaths. These include:

  • Being vaccinated means less quarantine and fewer requirements so your little one can get back to daycare and school faster and you can get back to your routine faster.

  • The first five years are critical for social and emotional development. Every little bit we can do to keep kids participating and included in community life contributes to their positive development. Vaccination helps keep kids in daycare, preschool, and activities.

Added Benefits

Resources to Help Get Ready

Older toddlers and young children may also have questions, feelings, and opinions about the COVID vaccine (or shots in general). Below are resources that can help you have conversations with your little one about COVID-19. When you are ready, these can help you and your child be prepared for the vaccine.

Sesame Street: Elmo Gets the COVID-19 Vaccine | Video
COVID-19 Social Story and Activity Book (For Kids and Their Grown-Ups) | Booklet
COVID-19 Vaccine for Babies and Children Under 5 | Printable Factsheet