Vaccinating Your Child

COVID-19 vaccination can help protect your child from getting COVID-19.

Although fewer children have been seriously ill with COVID-19 compared to adults, they can, in some cases, become seriously ill or develop severe COVID-19 complications, such as MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children). There is a higher risk of developing severe disease if they have underlying medical conditions.

If your child is not vaccinated, they could carry the virus and spread it to others. Vaccination protects them and makes them less likely to infect others, including you and vulnerable family members like older relatives or persons with weakened immune systems.

Vaccination gives you and your child peace of mind to return to more typical activities like in-person schooling and participating in extracurricular activities.

Why your young child needs to be vaccinated

Kids Ask Grandparents About Vaccination

Children & COVID-19 Vaccination

Webinar on Covid-19 vaccination for children (5-11 years old) | 18 Dec 2021

Frequently asked questions from parents on COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 years.

How will vaccine protect my child? (Part 1 of 4)

Can my child take the vaccine? (Part 2 of 4)

What are the possible side effects? (Part 3 of 4)

What are the other concerns from parents? (Part 4 of 4)

  • Part 1
  • Part 2
  • Part 3
  • Part 4

Is it safe for my child to receive the COVID-19 vaccination?

Can my child take the COVID-19 vaccination?

Is the vaccine safe for children?

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has assessed that the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine is safe for use on persons aged 5 years and above and has approved it for active immunisation to prevent COVID-19 in these ages.

The safety profile of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine in children aged 5 years and above was found to be consistent with that in the adult population and the standards set for other registered vaccines used in the immunisation against other diseases.

The common side effects are generally mild to moderate and resolve within a few days. Serious adverse events, such as severe allergic reactions and inflammation of the heart or its lining, are rare.

The Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination (EC19V) has assessed that the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine outweigh the risks, and recommends children aged 5 years and older to be vaccinated. Younger children aged 5 to 11 years are given a smaller dose of the vaccine compared to adolescents and adults.

Who is eligible?

All children who have crossed their 5th birthday in 2021 are eligible to book a vaccination appointment.

How to register your child for vaccination

Under the National Vaccination Programme, children/wards below 18 will require the consent of their parents/guardians to get vaccinated, and must bring along a duly completed and signed hard or electronic copy of the parental consent form, which can be downloaded here.

For parents whose child/ward is aged 5 to 11:

  • If he/she is under the MOE vaccination exercise, you will receive an SMS to book an appointment on his/her behalf.
  • If he/she is not under the MOE vaccination exercise, or has recovered from a COVID-19 infection more than 3 months ago and has yet to complete the recommended COVID-19 vaccination, you may register him/her at child.vaccine.gov.sg.
  • If you have missed their second dose appointment, you can re-book the appointment or walk in with your child/ward at the same paediatric VC before 7pm. Should the paediatric VC no longer be in operation, you may bring your child/ward to any paediatric VCs for their second dose.

Individuals aged 12 to 17 may walk into any VC or Joint Testing Vaccination Centre (JTVC) offering the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine.

On the day of vaccination

You must accompany your child/ward if he/she is aged 12 and below. Children aged 13 and above need not be accompanied.

You should bring along your child/ward’s Student Identification, or if not available, other forms of identification (e.g. Birth Certificate/Passport/SingPass) for verification. Please remember to bring either a printed or electronic copy of the signed consent form for their vaccination. You may use this letter of consent.

Alert  REMEMBER

[Updated 16 Nov] Your child should avoid strenous physical activities for 14 days after each vaccination. Seek medical attention immediately, if they experience chest pain, shortness of breath or abnormal heart beats.

Resources to share

Refer to the infographics below for more information on MIS-C and vaccination registration process for your child.

Risks_Benefits_Vaccination_Children Safety of vaccines for children_2048x2048 Impact of MIS-C_2048x2048 Vax and Booster (1)

Frequently Asked Questions

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Are there any children who shouldn’t get vaccinated?

There is no category of children or teens who absolutely shouldn’t get the vaccine, unless they have a known allergy to one of the vaccine’s components.

There have been reports of allergic reactions to the vaccine, but these occurrences are very rare.

Vaccine recipients are monitored for 30 minutes after receiving the injection in case of any allergic reaction. Children and teens with other types of allergies outside of those related to vaccines can feel safe receiving the vaccine.

Children or teens who recently received other vaccinations may preferably wait two weeks before getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but this is not strictly necessary.

If your child has any medical condition that is not stable or is getting worse, he or she should postpone the vaccination until the medical condition is better controlled.

People with weakened immune systems, either from illness or medication, may still receive the vaccine because it isn’t a live vaccine i.e. a vaccine that uses a weakened form of a germ or virus to prompt an immune response.

If your child has cancer and is on active chemotherapy, you should consult your child’s cancer specialist to discuss if or when your child can be vaccinated.

Parents are always encouraged to speak with their teen’s or child’s doctor/paediatrician if they have any questions or concerns.

How do I know if my child is getting the right vaccine, if Moderna/Spikevax is not suitable for young children?


There are safeguards in place. Our National Appointment System verifies an individual’s age based on the date of birth entered into it, and will only show vaccination locations carrying the appropriate vaccine.

This means that those below 18 will not get to select vaccination locations that carry the Moderna/Spikevax or the Nuvaxovid vaccine. Children 5-11 years old will only get to select vaccination locations that carry the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty paediatric formulation meant for their age group.

The staff at the vaccination location will doubly verify the age of the child before proceeding with the vaccination.

 

Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause myocarditis or pericarditis?

Myocarditis and pericarditis are inflammatory conditions affecting the heart muscles and the outer lining of the heart, respectively. Patients may present with symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or abnormal heartbeats. Local incidence rates remain low and the cases are usually mild and recover well.
 
As a precautionary measure, adolescents and younger persons are advised to avoid strenuous physical activities such as running, weightlifting, competitive sports, or playing ball games for two weeks after each mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination doses.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine affect my child’s fertility?

There is no evidence that the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines can cause infertility in vaccine recipients.

The vaccine does not enter into or change the DNA of the body’s cells in any way.

What side effects will child experience after vaccination?

The side effects observed in children are similar with the adult population.

Your child may experience more side effects after the second shot. These side effects are normal signs that your child's body is building up protection against the virus.

Side effects may affect their daily activities but are usually mild to moderate which should resolve in a few days.

The table below lists some common side effects that have been reported with this vaccine, and how to manage them.

Side Effects How to Manage
Pain, redness, swelling at the injection site

Those with fever are advised to self-isolate at home until the fever subsides.

Fever medications dosed according to the child’s weight as needed

Fever, chills
Headache, muscle pain, joint pain
Tiredness Rest
Lymph node swelling at neck or arms Usually gets better by itself in a week or so

Some children may have no side effects. There is nothing to worry about if that is the case for your child.

Can my child take fever/pain medicine before taking the vaccine?

If there are no side effects present, there is no reason to pre-medicate your child before or right after the vaccination.

Hence, we do not recommend that you give your child over-the-counter medicine, e.g. paracetamol or ibuprofen, before vaccination just to prevent vaccine-related side effects.

Similarly, we do not recommend that you give your child antihistamines before getting a COVID-19 vaccine to prevent allergic reactions.

What side effects are considered serious, and I should bring my child to see a doctor?

Bring your child to see a doctor if he or she has:

  • A fever that persists for more than 48 hours (2 days)
  • Respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath or loss of sense of taste and smell
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath or abnormal heartbeat
  • A side effect that persists or gets worse

In very rare cases, the vaccine can cause a severe allergic reaction. The signs include difficulty breathing, swelling of their face, throat, eyes or lips, a fast heartbeat, dizziness and weakness, a bad rash all over the body.

If your child experience a severe allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately. Call 995 or go to the nearest A&E without hesitation.

If my child (aged between 5 and 17 years old) has taken a dose of the mRNA vaccine but develops an allergic reaction to it, how can he/she complete vaccination?

Sinovac-CoronaVac has not been approved for general use for individuals aged below 18 years.

However, individuals aged 5 to 17 years who are medically ineligible to complete a full two-dose regime of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty mRNA vaccines will be offered to complete their three-dose primary series using Sinovac-CoronaVac* under a dedicated public health programme.

Individuals aged 12 to 17 who completed their primary vaccination series but are medically ineligible to receive another dose of mRNA vaccine will also be offered a Sinovac-CoronaVac booster dose under this dedicated public health programme.

They will be closely monitored by trained medical personnel under this public health programme, given that the use of Sinovac-CoronaVac in persons under the age of 18 years was not included in HSA’s PSAR interim authorisation. We will get in touch with eligible persons in this age group on how they can receive the Sinovac-CoronaVac safely.

*Additional two Sinovac-CoronaVac doses at least 28 days apart

What is the recommended interval between doses in children aged 5 - 11 years?

The recommended interval between two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech/ Comirnaty vaccine is at least 21 days. Sufficient time is required for the immune response to develop and mature in response to the first dose, before it is strengthened further by the second dose. An interval of 21 days has been shown in the vaccine trial to result in a high level of protection. 

While intervals of longer than 21 days are acceptable, and a Canadian study in individuals older than 12 years has indicated that the risk of myocarditis may be lower with longer dose intervals, children are encouraged to complete their two doses promptly to develop protection against COVID-19 given the current situation and the global surge in Omicron cases. 




For more FAQs on children vaccination, please click here.
For more FAQs on vaccination for school going children, please click here.

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