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How were the COVID vaccines studied in kids?

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

Pediatrician Rhea Boyd, MD, MPH explains the rigorous process that the COVID-19 vaccines for kids go through before they are authorized in the US.
The clinical trial process has multiple parts. And, so, the first part of that process is to make sure that the medication is safe. During that time, they’re looking for serious and common side effects. And, so, when they went through that step one of the clinical trial process for 5 to 11-year-olds, the great news is we didn’t see serious common side effects. We did see mild common side effects, like the ones where you might have aches and pains or a little bit of fever or chills a day or two after getting the vaccine. We saw those same mild side effects in adults and teenagers. So, we expected those. But we didn’t see the serious common side effects, which is really important. The next step of the clinical trial process is to make sure that whatever we’re testing in this case, the COVID vaccine, actually works, that it protects those who got the vaccine from being infected with COVID or from having serious, severe complications of COVID.
And the other good news there is, it works especially well in kids, and very similar to what we saw in adults when they went through the clinical trial process.

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.

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Everyone ages 5+ can get a COVID-19 vaccine, and those 12+ can get a booster shot.

There is no cost to get a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S., regardless of insurance or immigration status.