All South Australians 5 years and over and eligible children 6 months to less than 5 years can get their COVID-19 vaccination.
Vaccination is the best way to reduce your child’s risk of becoming seriously unwell with COVID-19.
Children can be vaccinated against COVID-19 at participating pharmacies, GPs and SA Health vaccination clinics, depending on their age and medical needs.
Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who can provide consent.
If your child is aged 12 to 17, please visit our page on COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents.
Recommended vaccines by age group
For most children, two doses of COVID-19 vaccine are required for the primary course.
For severely immunocompromised children, an additional third dose is recommended as part of the primary course to improve their level of immunity.
All primary course doses are given 8 weeks apart.
6 months to under 5 years (eligible children only)
- Paediatric Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Children 6 months to under 5 years with disability, or complex or multiple health conditions which increase the risk of severe illness are eligible to get vaccinated. Eligible children include those with the following or similar conditions:
- bone marrow or stem cell transplant, or chimeric antigen T-cell (CAR-T) therapy
- complex congenital heart disease
- conditions affecting the airway or chronic lung disease
- type 1 diabetes
- chronic neurological or neuromuscular conditions
- a disability such as severe cerebral palsy or Down Syndrome.
If your child has an underlying medical condition and has an acute illness or infection, discuss vaccination with their treating doctor or specialist.
Eligible children can access the Paediatric Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the North Adelaide COVID-19 vaccination clinic (Women's and Children's Hospital), selected regional SA Health vaccination clinics, and participating GPs, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics.
For more information read the Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 vaccination program for children 6 months to under 5 years (PDF 162KB).
6 to 11 years
If your child turns 12 between their first and second dose, they will receive the vaccine dosage recommended for a 12 year old as their second dose.
It is preferable that the same brand of vaccine is used for each primary course dose administered to a child aged 5 to 11.
ATAGI recommends a booster dose of the Paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for eligible children aged 5 to 11 who have completed a primary course of vaccination 3 or more months ago with:
- severe immunocompromise
- disability with significant or complex health needs
Vaccination after COVID-19 infection
If your child has had COVID-19 you should wait to have them vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine three months after their positive COVID-19 test.
A three month gap between infection and vaccination is likely to lead to a better immune response and result in longer protection from reinfection.
The next scheduled dose of COVID-19 vaccine should be given as soon as possible after three months. Your child should still have all the recommended doses.
If your child has had COVID-19, you do not need to delay other vaccinations – for example, the flu vaccine. But your child should not get any vaccine if they are acutely unwell (e.g., if they have a fever).
Why should I get my child vaccinated?
The vaccines work by teaching your child’s body to fight illness so that they don’t become sick or their symptoms aren’t as bad if they do get sick.
Having the vaccine means your child will be less likely to catch COVID-19 and pass it on to others. If they’re vaccinated, they will be able to visit vulnerable or older family members more safely. School communities will also be safer.
There is still a chance that your child will catch COVID-19, but if they do, they are likely to have no symptoms or mild symptoms.
If you’re still undecided, this interactive decision aid (5 - 15 years) can help you.
Find out what to expect before, during and after your child’s vaccination appointment.
Professor Spurrier explains COVID-19 vaccination for children
Professor Spurrier answers parents and caregivers common questions
Helping your child understand
It’s natural for your child to be curious and to have lots of questions about COVID-19 vaccinations. It may be helpful to start a conversation with your child about the vaccines.
It’s important to listen to them, acknowledge and reassure them if they have fears about needles or being vaccinated.
Be honest and explain and in an age-appropriate way the facts about the COVID-19 vaccine. Remember children take emotional cues from adults, so oversharing fears may not be constructive and may make your child feel uncomfortable or scared.
It may help to explain to your child what they can expect on the day of the appointment, including that the doctor or medical professional will ask them some questions. They will have a needle put into the top of their arm, which will feel like a small prick and their arm might be a bit sore afterwards. Reassure your child that it’s normal for their arm to be a bit sore.
If your child seems anxious about getting vaccinated, try exploring their feelings further or seek further advice from your GP if necessary.
To help explain COVID-19 vaccination to your children or for your child to learn more information themselves, see the Fact sheet for children aged 5 to 11 (PDF 63KB).
For younger children, try reading our children’s book with them: How to protect yourself from COVID-19 (PDF 2.6MB).
Safety and efficacy
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, providing protection against existing variants. The vaccines have been tested extensively in clinical trials and, following the conclusion of the clinical trials, millions of people around the world have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Your child might experience some side effects after their vaccine, but these are usually mild and only last for a couple of days. Side effects can include pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, a headache, general aches and pains or a fever. These are common and expected reactions.