What you need to know about the coronavirus vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11

Lydia Melo, 7, is immunized with one of two child doses of the Pfizer BioNTech coronavirus vaccine during a trial in Durham, N.C., in September 2021. (Shawn Rocco/Duke University/Reuters)

More than 9 million children ages 5 to 11 have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine in the United States since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on the two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech series for the age group.

Some pediatricians have expressed concern that more children should be vaccinated. Although the number of reported cases of covid-19 has dropped significantly since the omicron wave, experts say vaccination is key to ward off severe illness and curb the spread of the virus.

“The most important thing about vaccination is that we want to prevent serious illness and death in children, decrease infections and prevent further variants,” Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, said after the vaccine was authorized for younger adolescents in November.

Some 5-to-11-year-olds received the nation's first children's coronavirus vaccine on Nov. 3, 2021, after the CDC authorized immunizing millions of kids. (Video: Justin Scuiletti/The Washington Post)

Shu said parents and guardians should speak with their children’s pediatricians regarding any questions or concerns about the vaccine.

We have also tried to answer some common questions here.

Should my child get a coronavirus vaccine? Is it safe? Here’s what you should know.