Covid Vaccines and Kids Ages 5–11: Tips for a Painless Poke

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A week after the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine was cleared for children aged 5 to 11, nearly a million kids had already received their jabs, with another 700,000 appointments scheduled in the days to come.

If your kiddo’s not yet a part of that 1.7 million, check out our info and tips below to set up your appointment and get them protected from Covid-19!

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How to find a vaccination site

The NYC Vaccine Finder lets you search for shot providers in your neighborhood. Just look for sites that are marked with “Vaccine offered: Pfizer (5–11).”


Tips for an easier vaccination experience

Got a kid who’s skittish around needles? Check out these techniques recommended by PSP parents.

Try a shot blocker or needle pain relief device. The Buzzy provides distraction and relief with vibration and cool ice packs, while the ShotBlocker’s blunt contact points reduce the pain of the poke!

Pair the shot with a fun outing. Brooklyn Children’s Museum is a city vaccination site and offers free museum admission to anyone who gets the jab there, so you can use the excitement of a museum visit as an incentive. The American Museum of Natural History is also offering vaccinations under the whale, although you will need to use your free museum voucher to reserve timed entry at a future date.

Or offer them a treat once it's done. Maybe a silly button to let everyone know how brave they were?

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Pump them up with a good book. When a Shot Meant a Lot: A Story for Kids About the COVID-19 Vaccine can help parents start a conversation about what the vaccine has to offer: a return to normal.

Lidocaine can help with the pain of a poke. Topical anesthesia, in the form of lidocaine cream, is available over the counter and safe even for infants, according to this New York Times article; it should be applied at least 30 minutes before the shot or the blood draw.

Distract, distract, distract. As one parent says: “I find an iPad or phone with a favorite game helps distract them during the shot. Maybe get a new game they have been wanting as a reward.”