With about 17 million U.S. children now eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine, many health experts are urging parents and guardians to inoculate their children — especially since the highly transmissible delta variant is the dominant strain in the United States.

Recent data from the American Academy of Pediatrics show that coronavirus cases in children have been steadily rising since the delta variant started to surge, with nearly 500,000 pediatric cases reported in the United States over a two-week period in early September. Although children account for a very small number of hospitalizations and deaths related to the virus, research shows the variant has led to an increase in pediatric cases, which is why some pediatricians are calling for vaccinations to protect the youngest Americans.

Since most families will have questions about vaccinating their children, we’ve tried to answer some of the most common.

What to know

  • Should I consider vaccinating my child?
  • Is my child eligible?
  • When will the vaccine be available for children under 12?
  • Is this the same vaccine that is administered to older teens and adults?
  • Is it FDA-approved?
  • Is it safe for children?