Frequently Asked Questions

  • Frequently Asked Questions: Vaccines for Youth

FAQs for Parents, Guardians and Youth Ages 12-17 About Pfizer Vaccine

Is the Pfizer vaccine available for children or teens?

Yes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted authorization for use in in people aged 12 and older. The Pfizer vaccine had one of the largest clinical trials in history with over 43,000 voluntary participants. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are currently only authorized for people aged 18 and older.


Is parental/legal guardian consent required?

Yes. Children under the age of 18 must have parental or legal guardian consent, unless they are emancipated, for any vaccine. Unless the vaccine is administered in a physician’s office, school-based or school-associated clinic setting, the minor should be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to receive the vaccine.


Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

Yes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as independent medical experts, through rigorous evaluation, have worked to ensure that the vaccine is safe and effective. While this vaccine is new, technology used in mRNA vaccines have been studied for decades by companies such as Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna.


How long does it take for the Pfizer vaccine to work?

The Pfizer vaccine is given in two doses. The second dose is administered 21 days (three weeks) after the first dose. Shots are administered into the muscle of your arm, similarly to how a person would be vaccinated for the flu. Both doses are needed to achieve the fullest protection. An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose is administered.


Are there any side effects of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine may cause some mild side effects which include:

  • Injection site pain
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle Pain
  • Nausea

Side effects were more commonly reported after individuals received their second dose. If you have severe allergies or have experienced a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine in the past, talk with your doctor about whether the vaccine and its ingredients are safe for you.


Will the Pfizer vaccine change an individual’s DNA?

No. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will not alter an individual’s DNA. The vaccine uses mRNA technology to provide/send instructions to the body to create the "spike" protein found in the virus that causes COVID-19. An individual’s body will then respond by building antibodies to destroy the protein.


I’ve read that the vaccine will track me after administered. Is this true?

No vaccines or nasal sprays contain microchips or any form of tracking device that would alter or control your body.


Does the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine cause infertility, or impact a child’s future fertility?

No. Currently, there is no evidence that any vaccines, including the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, cause fertility issues.


Where can those aged 12 and older be vaccinated? How do I make an appointment?

Holzer Health System is scheduling first-dose vaccine appointments for those aged 12 and older. Call 740-446-5566 to learn more about guidelines or schedule an appointment.


What should my child do before their vaccine appointment?

Make sure your child drinks plenty of water and eats before getting vaccinated. Fainting after vaccination is more common in adolescents, and it is often linked to dehydration or high anxiety


What should I do if my child is feeling anxious?

Before the vaccine is administered, have your child breathe slowly and think of something that calms or relaxes them. Have your child look away from the syringe and relax whichever arm the vaccine will be administered in. Parents and legal guardians can distract them by talking to them during the vaccination and breathe along with them to help ease anxieties.

Learn more about vaccines for youth ages 12-17 (Ohio Department of Health)

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