COVID-19 Immunization for Children Under 12 - FAQ


Last Updated: January 3, 2023

COVID-19 immunization provides children with protection from COVID-19 as well as protection for their families, siblings, friends and classmates.

We encourage all parents and guardians to talk to their pediatrician or family physician about getting their children immunized against COVID-19, if they have questions or concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What age groups are eligible for COVID-19 immunization and how can I book my child to receive their vaccine?

A: Everyone 6 months+ can get vaccinated.

  • Albertans 12+ are eligible for the Bivalent booster following any primary series or who have received any number of previous boosters.
  • Children 5 to 11 years of age are eligible for first boosters (third doses).
    • Children 5 to 11 years of age who completed a primary series and did not receive a monovalent booster are eligible for the Pfizer bivalent booster dose.
    • Children who received a monovalent booster and have an underlying medical condition that places them at increased risk of severe COVID-19 disease are eligible for the Pfizer bivalent booster dose.
  • Primary series are available to children 6 months to 4 years.
  • Albertans 5+ can get their influenza vaccine at the same time as their COVID-19 vaccine. Separate appointments are not required.

Appointments can be booked online, or by calling 811.

Q: What is the recommended spacing between doses?

A: The recommended intervals between the doses in a primary series for children 6 months of age and older is at least eight weeks.

Emerging evidence suggests that longer intervals between the first and second dose result in a more robust immune response and higher vaccine effectiveness.

This recommendation aligns with National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommendations. Alberta Health continues to monitor the emerging evidence and will recommend changes to this interval if needed.

Q: Is my child eligible for a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: All Albertans 5+ years of age can receive a booster dose at least 5 months after their previous dose.

Q: Can my child receive another immunization, and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?

A: Yes. It is safe to get two vaccines at the same time.

Q: Why do children need to be immunized against COVID-19?

A: While many children experience mild symptoms, some kids can get very sick and experience complications, or long-lasting symptoms. While rare, the virus can also cause death in children.

Similar to the rest of the population, children also can transmit the coronavirus to others if they're infected, even when no symptoms are present.

Getting your child immunized against COVID-19 vaccine also helps protect the health of others, including parents, grandparents, other family members, friends, classmates and the larger community.

Q: How many children get infected with COVID-19?

A: Find information on COVID-19 cases in Alberta by age group.

Q: What side effects are most children experiencing after the vaccine?

A: The vaccine is well tolerated and most side effects are mild. These side effects include pain at the injection site, fatigue, headaches, chills, joint pain and muscle pain as well as fever.

Q: I've heard about heart problems in children following the COVID-19 vaccine. Is it safe to get my child immunized?

A: Any potential side effect is always of significant concern in children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported increasing reports of myocarditis and pericarditis after mRNA vaccination in the US. This side effect is extremely rare and cases are typically mild and recover quickly. The risk of heart problems is much higher after COVID-19 infection than after vaccination.

If your child develops any of the following symptoms within a week of vaccination, seek medical care immediately:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling like your heart is beating fast, fluttering or pounding.

It's understandable that parents want to have as much information as possible before getting their child immunized. If you have questions, we recommend that you reach out to your child's pediatrician, your family physician, primary healthcare provider or call Health Link at 811 and talk to a registered nurse.

Please note that myocarditis and pericarditis are more commonly seen in children with COVID -19 disease than they are after vaccination.

Q: Why is natural immunity from a previous COVID-19 infection not adequate protection?

A: People with previous COVID-19 infection should receive a complete vaccine series at the recommended intervals. While having had the disease offers some protection against future infection, there's not enough data about that level of protection to know when it tapers off or how protective it is against new variants. Getting fully immunized offers the best protection possible from the virus.

Q: What are the ingredients in the vaccines?

A: A list of the ingredients in each vaccine can be found in the Canadian Immunization Guide or the vaccine's product monograph available through Health Canada's Drug Product Database. Or to go to the ingredients for a specific vaccine you can follow the links below:

Q: Does getting the vaccine help prevent you from passing on COVID-19 to others?

A: Immunization will greatly reduce your risk of becoming infected with COVID-19, and therefore, spreading the virus to other people. However, there is still a small chance that you can become infected even after being immunized. The vaccines being used in Alberta are good at protecting people from developing illness caused by COVID-19 but no vaccine is 100% effective.

While evidence on asymptomatic and variant transmission continues to be reviewed, it is important for immunized individuals to continue following public health measures to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccines have also proven to be very effective at limiting the symptoms of those who get COVID-19 after being immunized; people who get COVID after receiving the vaccine are less likely to be hospitalized, for example

Learn more about the vaccines at