COVID-19 vaccination for children
COVID-19 vaccine appointments available for children
All children aged 5 years and older can roll up for a COVID-19 vaccine. Some children between 6 months and 5 years are also eligible.
Children receive a smaller dose of vaccine created specifically for their age group.
The recommended schedule for vaccination for children is 2 doses, 8 weeks apart. Children with severe immunocompromise may need 3 doses as part of their primary vaccination course. More information on this is available on the ATAGI (external link) website.
If your child tests positive for COVID-19, wait 3 months before their next vaccination. Please discuss this with the clinic when booking your appointment.
Children aged 5 years and older
ATAGI recommends (external link) some children aged 5 to 11 years receive a third or fourth dose of the paediatric Pfizer vaccine. This recommendation is for children who:
- are severely immunocompromised
- have a disability with significant or complex health needs; or
- have health conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19.
Children not in these risk categories do not need to receive a third or fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Find your nearest COVID-19 vaccination provider using the Vaccine Clinic Finder (external link)
Children 6 months to 4 years
Some children aged 6 months to 4 years can receive the paediatric Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Children in this age group who are eligible:
- are severe immunocompromise
- have a disability
- have a complex and/or multiple health conditions
- have a condition specified by ATAGI (external link).
Children not in these risk categories are not recommended for COVID-19 vaccination. This is because these children have a very low likelihood of severe illness from COVID-19.
The paediatric Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is available at the Stan Perron Immunisation Centre at Perth Children’s Hospital. It is also available through many GPs across Western Australia.
Why should I get my child vaccinated?
Dr Tinashe Chinzou explains why it’s so important children are protected from COVID-19.
Evidence shows vaccination offers excellent protection against COVID-19 in children. Even though COVID-19 in children is often milder than in adults, there’s strong evidence to support vaccinating children.
Vaccines give the immune system a helping hand to protect against serious illness and possible long-term effects from COVID-19. Vaccination also helps to protect friends, family and the community by reducing spread of the virus.
Want to cut through the misconceptions about COVID-19 vaccines? Our experts answers some of the most common questions with good old-fashioned facts.
Preparing for a child’s vaccination
As a parent or guardian, there are some things you can consider before you take your child for their COVID-19 vaccine, to help make it a positive experience for them.
Remember, your child will need a second dose and they will receive other vaccines in the future.
If your child is anxious about receiving the vaccine or has additional needs, planning ahead and talking to them and your GP can help.
Children can receive additional support through vaccination centres if they are scared of needles, have a disability, behavioural difficulties or other needs.
What you need to bring
To make your child’s vaccination as smooth as possible, you will need to bring:
- proof of your child’s age (e.g., their birth certificate, passport or school card)
- your Medicare card, if you have one
Each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who will provide consent for vaccination.
What you can expect on the day
Some children might be anxious about getting their COVID-19 vaccine or being in a new environment - this is normal. Experienced staff trained to work with children of all ages, abilities and backgrounds will be on hand to give your child their vaccine.
Staff might use visual distractions or vaccination aids to help calm your child.
Having conversations with your child or dependant about vaccination
It’s natural for children to be curious and have lots of questions about COVID-19 and vaccinations. Here’s some tips for having conversations with your child or dependant:
- Stay up to date with the latest information and advice through trusted health resources and websites.
- Start a conversation and listen to your children’s response. Invite them to share what they have heard and acknowledge any fears they have about being vaccinated.
- Be open about the vaccine and the vaccination process. Acknowledge the pain but put it into context. Depending on their age, you could liken getting a vaccine to having a superhero shield against disease.
More information is available from the Australian Government (external link).
How to speak to kids about COVID-19 vaccines (external link) – Australian Government resource
How to talk to your children about vaccines (external link) – UNICEF resource