COVID-19 vaccination for children
Find out more about COVID-19 vaccination for children.
Find an appointment
Make an appointment for your child's COVID-19 vaccination.
Who is eligible?
Vaccination for children 6 months to under 5 years
From 5 September, vaccination is recommended for children aged 6 months to under 5 who are severely immunocompromised, have a disability, or have complex and/or multiple health conditions which increase the risk of severe COVID-19.
Parents of children aged 6 months to under 5 years in these categories should consult with their healthcare professional, and, if eligible, seek COVID-19 vaccination as soon as they are able to secure an appointment.
Vaccination is not currently recommended for children aged 6 months to under 5 years who are not in the above risk categories for severe COVID-19. These children have a very low likelihood of severe illness from COVID-19.
Vaccination for children aged 5 to 11
COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all children aged 5 to 11.
Some children have an increased risk from COVID-19. This includes:
- children living in crowded conditions
- children aged 5 to 11 years with underlying health conditions
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
The Department of Education strongly recommends that all eligible students (and their families) who are 5 years and older get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Vaccination is beneficial for children
Evidence shows vaccination offers excellent protection against COVID-19 in children. Even though COVID-19 is often milder in children 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.
COVID-19 vaccines available for children
Children will receive 2 doses of the same vaccine, given 8 weeks apart. Children who are severely immunocompromised will receive 3 doses.
6 months to under 5 years:
- Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine is approved for use in children aged 6 months to under 5 years with severe immunocompromise, disability, and those who have complex and/or multiple health conditions which increase the risk of severe COVID-19. The dose is around ½ of the dose for children aged 6 to 11 years old.
5 to 11 years:
- Pfizer (Comirnaty) children’s vaccine is approved for children aged 5 to 11 years. The dose is around 1/3 of the dose for people aged 12 years and older.
- Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine is approved for use in children aged 6 to 11. The dose is around ½ of the dose for people aged 12 years and older.
If your child has already had COVID-19
It’s possible to catch COVID-19 more than once.
Children who have previously had COVID-19 can get their recommended vaccinations against COVID-19 3 months after infection.
Natural immunity varies between people. Vaccination, on the other hand, provides a strong immune response and excellent protection against reinfection and serious illness.
The latest COVID-19 Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 in NSW are highly transmissible and have been shown to reinfect people who have previously had COVID-19 as quickly as 4 weeks after infection.
Vaccination is a safe and consistent way to protect children. Vaccination will give your family an extra layer of protection and reduce the chance of reinfection.
Reassuring new data shows that Australian children aged 5 to 11 years old had fewer side effects following COVID-19 vaccination than any other age group.
From more than 130,000 post-vaccination surveys completed by parents, most children experienced no side effects at all.
Of those who did (33%), the most commonly reported side effects were redness, pain and swelling at the injection site, fatigue and headache and most resolved within three days. Read the report
In a clinical trial for children aged 6 months to under 5 years, most side effects reported were the same as commonly seen in other age groups and were mild to moderate, lasting approximately one to two days. Fever was a more common side effect in this age group compared to adults and older children.
How vaccines work
Vaccines teach your child’s immune system to recognise and fight the COVID-19 virus. This means if they encounter the virus after vaccination, their immune system can tackle it faster and more effectively, helping to protect them from severe illness.
When a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, it takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity. In the long-term, only the immune cells that have been trained to recognise COVID-19 will remain in your system, not the vaccine itself.
None of the approved COVID-19 vaccines in Australia contain the live COVID-19 virus. This means they cannot give you COVID-19.
Understand the risks
If they are infected with COVID-19, some children will end up with severe lung infections, become very sick and need to be hospitalised. Children can also suffer from long COVID-19 symptoms that affect their health and wellbeing into the future.
For children, the risk of serious harm from a COVID-19 vaccine is less than the risk from a general anaesthetic or taking penicillin for an infection.
Flu vaccination for young children
Flu is circulating in NSW alongside COVID-19 cases. Young children are more at risk from flu.
Parents of children aged 6 months and over are urged to get their kids vaccinated against flu as soon as possible. The flu vaccine is free for kids up to 5 years of age and other people at higher risk of severe illness. Visit Flu vaccination for children.
Talking to your child about COVID-19 vaccination
Parents are encouraged to get their child vaccinated as soon as possible. Talk to your GP if you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 vaccination for your child.
A virus is something that can make people sick. By being brave, we can help defeat a virus, you probably know, it's a virus called COVID-19. To try to stop people from catching and getting sick from COVID-19, we've all had to make some changes. We wash our hands more, wear a mask, and we stay home if we're not feeling well. Now there's a way to help stop people getting sick from COVID-19. It's called a vaccine. You've probably had a few before for things like chickenpox. A vaccine is a medicine that helps protect you and the people you love from viruses. It helps teach your body how to fight the virus, so you don't get sick. Just like a superpower. Getting a vaccine, it's super quick. Some kids say they don't feel it. Some say it's like a little sting. And some say it hurts a bit. Tell your nurse or doctor how it felt for you. If you want to you can sit on a grownup's lap to get your vaccine and have a hug. Or you can even watch a favourite song or show. It's okay to feel a bit worried. That will be over before you know it. And then you'll feel super brave for helping protect everyone from COVID-19. Let's do this.
Support telephone lines
Consent is required from a parent or guardian at booking and at the appointment.
If the parent or guardian is unable to attend the appointment, a nominated accompanying adult can be identified during the booking process.
See the Consent for COVID-19 Vaccination for further information.