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Do kids need two doses of the COVID vaccine?

Pediatricians and other experts answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Infectious disease epidemiologist Jessica Malaty Rivera, MS explains why both children and adults need to get both doses of the two dose COVID-19 vaccines to get maximum protection.

So, both MRNA vaccines are designed in a prime boost model. So, the first dose is to prime your immune system to kind of give it an introduction to the antigen. And then the second dose is the boost to kind of give it a reminder of what to look out for. And the way that the clinical trials were designed were to kind of allow for about three weeks in between those doses so that the body can be you know familiarized and then recognize it again.

So, because of that, we want to make sure that people are fully vaccinated within the timeframe that was specifically studied in the clinical trials, especially right now, as we approach the holidays and the winter months, where more people are indoors. It’s not worth risking spreading first and second doses because you’ll be delaying when you’ll be most protected.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decisions. Click here for vaccine FAQs from the CDC.

Stay up to date with your COVID vaccine, including boosters!

COVID vaccines are safe and effective for everyone ages 6 months and older.

Immunity wanes over time. Keep up your protection against COVID by getting boosted when eligible.

Updated (bivalent) boosters are now available for adults and children 6 months and older.