What are the side effects of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in children?


What are the side effects of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in children aged 5 to 11? 

Side effects are part of the body's natural response to a vaccine. Some people have no side effects, while others may have some type of reaction. Reactions are most often mild and go away by themselves within hours or days. 
Common vaccine side effects may include:
  • Pain, redness, swelling  and itchiness where the vaccine was given.
  • More general symptoms, such as tiredness, headache, fever, chills, muscle or joint soreness, swollen lymph nodes under the armpit, nausea and vomiting. 
CDC report released December 31, 2021 provides safety findings after more than 8 million doses of vaccine were given to children aged 5 to 11 in the United States. The report shows that:
  • Vaccine side effects were common but mostly mild and brief and included things like pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. 
  • Serious problems after vaccination were extremely rare.

In this video, Dr. Julia Orkin, pediatrician at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto & Medical Lead for the SickKids COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service, answers the question: What are the most common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine in children?


In this video, BC Children’s Hospital Infectious Disease Pediatric Physician Dr. Manish Sadarangani discusses how there has been no concern around significant adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination in children ages 5-11.


Date last reviewed: 
Friday, Mar 25, 2022