Skip to main content

Warning notification:Warning

Unfortunately, you are using an outdated browser. Please, upgrade your browser to improve your experience with HSE. The list of supported browsers:

  1. Chrome
  2. Edge
  3. FireFox
  4. Opera
  5. Safari

COVID-19 vaccination for children

COVID-19 vaccination is available to children aged 6 months and older to give them protection against serious COVID-19 illness.

Where to get your child vaccinated

There are different ways to get your child vaccinated, depending on their age.

People under 16 must attend their vaccination with a parent or legal guardian.

Where to get a COVID-19 vaccine

If your child is getting other vaccines

For children under 4 years, prioritise your child's routine childhood vaccines over their COVID-19 vaccination.

Children aged 6 months to 4 years should wait 14 days after getting another vaccine before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

If your child has COVID-19

Delay getting your child vaccinated if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive COVID-19 test result.

Who should get vaccinated

We particularly recommend that your child gets their first round of COVID-19 vaccination if they:

But all parents should consider getting their child vaccinated. Getting your child vaccinated is a decision between you and your child.

There are different recommendations for the seasonal COVID-19 booster dose.

Benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine​​

COVID-19 vaccination should protect your child from getting seriously ill from COVID-19 if they are at higher risk from COVID-19.

It may also protect healthy children from:

  • COVID-19 illness which can be severe in very rare cases
  • paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS or MIS-C) from COVID-19, a rare complication that can affect children as young as 3 months of age
  • the risk of having ‘long COVID' symptoms, such as fatigue, which can continue for weeks or months
  • spreading COVID-19 to others

If your child is vaccinated they will be less likely to miss school, childcare and other activities because of being ill with COVID-19.

Who should not get a COVID-19 vaccine

Most children age 6 months and older will be able to safely get the vaccine.

Who should not get the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 infection

Most children who get COVID-19 have very mild symptoms or no symptoms. But children who get COVID-19 need to avoid contact with other people even if their symptoms are mild.

If your child has COVID-19

Serious illness is rare

COVID-19 rarely causes serious illness, hospitalisation or death in children. The risk of a child being hospitalised because of COVID-19 is low, and the risk of any child needing intensive care treatment is extremely low.

Serious illness and hospitalisation rates are low for children age 6 months to 4 years. But they are higher than in older children.

Children with certain health conditions are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. They are more likely to have to go to hospital with COVID-19.

Sometimes, symptoms connected to COVID-19 can continue for some weeks or months. This is called ‘long COVID’. The risk of having this is lower in children compared to adults.


In rare cases, COVID-19 can cause a condition called PIMS. This is also known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). It causes pneumonia, inflammation of the heart and difficulty breathing. PIMS is more rarely seen following Omicron variant COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of PIMS in older children and adolescents. A similar benefit is expected in children age 6 months to 4 years.

3 out of 4 children who develop PIMS or MIS-C have no underlying health condition. Most children with PIMS recover after time in hospital or intensive care. But some children have lasting side effects and a very small number can die. This condition is known to affect children as young as 3 months.

If your child had PIMS or MIS-C

If your child is 6 months or older and had PIMS, they can get a COVID-19 vaccine. They should wait until they have recovered and at least 90 days after they were diagnosed.

Giving consent for vaccination

Anyone under 16 must attend their vaccination with a parent or legal guardian.

A parent or legal guardian must be there in person to give consent. You need to give consent for each dose.

The child getting the vaccine will also be asked if they want to get the vaccine at their appointment.

The vaccinator can answer questions you might have about the vaccine.

If it's not possible for a parent or legal guardian to be at the appointment, freephone HSELive for advice: 1800 700 700.

Registering your child

You can register your child at their appointment. This must be done by a parent or legal guardian. You will need to bring their PPS number with you. You only need to do this for dose 1.

Your first appointment will be a few minutes longer but you do not need to arrive earlier.

Children with additional needs

Some children getting their vaccine may need:

  • more time at their appointment
  • a quieter appointment time with fewer people

If your child has additional needs, call HSELive to arrange one of these options.

Freephone: 1800 700 700

Page last reviewed: 26 June 2024