Vaccination for children 5-11 years old

Children aged 5 to 11 years old can now be offered vaccination against COVID-19. Vaccination is voluntary and free.

The health authorities recommend vaccination against COVID-19 for children aged 5 to 11 years old for several reasons:

  • By vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 years old, we gain better control of the epidemic, as the infection is particularly increasing among younger children.
  • Vaccinated children help to reduce the spread of infection. Even though children rarely become seriously ill from COVID-19, the vaccination of children will protect others and reduce infection in the population in general, so that the hospitals will face less pressure.
  • Increased immunity in the population helps to ensure children and adults can enjoy daily life that is more normal – with fewer tests, fewer days sent home from school/institutions, fewer social events that are cancelled, etc.

The vaccine against COVID-19 is made by Pfizer-BioNTech and approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for children as young as five years old. 

The clinical trial included 3,000 children aged 5 to 11 years old. The clinical trial shows that children who are vaccinated acquire a good and effective protection against COVID-19.

The health authorities’ recommendation on children getting vaccinated is based on the professional assessment of the documentation of the vaccine’s effect and safety in relation to children, and an assessment of the vaccine’s prevention potential in relation to the COVID-19 illness. 

The dates and locations where children aged 5 to 11 years old can get vaccinated will be made available in the vaccination plan on

Your child will be offered the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, which is approved for use in children aged 5 to 11 years old.

Compared to adults, children receive a smaller dose of the vaccine. The vaccination centre personnel are trained in extracting and giving the correct dosage of vaccine, so you can be sure that your child gets the correct dosage. 

If your child turns 12 years of age between the first and second dose of the vaccination, then your child will receive a smaller dosage of the vaccination with both the first vaccination dose and second vaccination dose.

Your child will be vaccinated twice to get the best protection. Your child must receive the second dose of the vaccination approximately three weeks after having received the first vaccination. At the present time there are no plans to give children a third dose of the vaccination.

The vaccines provide your child with protection against infection from COVID-19. Your child shall be vaccinated twice in order to get the full protection.

A child aged 5 to 11 years old cannot give informed consent for the vaccination. This means that a parent/legal guardian of a child must provide consent for the child to get vaccinated.

As the parent/legal guardian, your consent will made on the basis of verbal information given by the person who is vaccinating your child. In general, it is sufficient that consent is provided by only one parent. However, this does not apply if there is known disagreement between the two custodial parents.

The reason that in general only one parent is required to give consent at the actual vaccination centre, is because the vaccination is not considered a serious enough matter to require the consent of both parents.

There will always be a doctor present who has responsibility for the vaccinations. Personnel who have been trained in giving vaccinations will vaccinate your child. There will always be healthcare personnel present, whom you can talk with and get assistance from.

Mild, common side-effects

In general, all vaccines have side-effects. This applies to children and adults. Normally the side-effects are mild and temporary and are a natural sign that the body’s immune system is reacting to the vaccine.

In the clinical trial, the side-effects were mild and at the same time, comparable with side-effects that have been observed in older children and adults and with those seen in other vaccines that are given to children.

Common side-effects:

  • Pain and redness at the injection site
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain and joint pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

Mild side-effects are common and last for a couple of days.

Rare side-effects

In rare cases severe allergic reactions can occur, which can among other things, be caused by an allergy to the additives in the vaccine. If your child has a known severe allergy, for example to medicines, you should inform the person at the vaccination centre who is responsible for vaccinating your child before your child is vaccinated. With regard to vaccination against COVID-19, there will always be a healthcare professional present who will be able to deal with rare allergic reactions.

The clinical trial for the vaccination of children has not shown any worrying side-effects. The risk of long-term side-effects are generally very low and we regard the vaccine as being very safe for children and adults.

After vaccines have been approved, the National Board of Health in Greenland and the European medial authorities monitor them carefully in relation to their effect and any side-effects. This is standard procedure in the field of medicine. If when monitoring the vaccine, a possible side-effect is registered, a study is quickly carried out to assess whether the side-effect is caused by the vaccine.

Click here to read more about the side-effects of vaccination against COVID-19.

We do not have any data basis for assessing whether there are any long-term side-effects when vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 years old, since this would require the children had been monitored for a long period of time.

The vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech has been approved for use in adults for more than a year, and no one has observed side-effects that have not previously been observed before.

In the vaccine clinical trial for children aged 5 to 11 years old, the authorities have monitored several children for up to three months. The majority of any side-effects would be expected to be seen during this period of time. The medical authorities monitor the vaccines after they have been approved, so that they can react if there are any indications of an increased risk with the vaccine or of long-term side-effects.

After the vaccines were put into use, it was ascertained that there was a potential link between the vaccine and very rare instances of inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) and inflammation of the outer lining of the heart (pericarditis). In a very few cases, adults developed myocarditis or pericarditis after they were vaccinated. This sounds very serious, but in most cases the condition disappears on its own. It is reported more in young men, even though it is reported very rarely. In most cases where there is need for treatment, there are excellent treatments available.

In the clinical trials, no children developed myocarditis or pericarditis. It is possible that a lower dosage may reduce the risk of side-effects compared to older children. 

It is a rare side-effect and in general, a mild one. In a few very rare cases it can become more serious, therefore, you should contact your doctor if you develop symptoms. Symptoms are typically shortness of breath and chest pains and heart palpitations.

We recommend that your child gets vaccinated even if your child has previously been infected by COVID-19. This is because the degree of immunity that you gain after infection with the coronavirus can vary, whereas vaccination can more reliably trigger a more sufficient immune response.

If your child has previously been infected, it is safe for your child to be vaccinated. You just need to wait until your child has been symptom-free for a month.

Your child can readily be vaccinated if he/she only has a slight increase in temperature or has a slight infection, for example, a cold. Your child should postpone getting vaccinated if he/she is acutely ill with a temperature greater than 38˚C.

At all times, consider whether the infection is from COVID-19. If your child has COVID-19 or you suspect your child has COVID-19, then he/she must postpone getting vaccinated.

Most children can tolerate being vaccinated. This also applies even if your child has, for example, a food allergy, pollen allergy or has a weakened immune system.

There will be a few children who cannot tolerate the vaccine, for example, children who have a known allergy to the vaccine. If you are unsure about whether your child can tolerate the vaccination or not, then contact the health service.

Here is some good advice about how to calm your child:

  • Prepare the child as best possible about what is going to happen.
  • Ask the child if they want to sit down or stand up or hold hands while the vaccination is given.
  • If your child is tense, you can try to get your child to take some deep breaths.
  • It is important that as the parent of the child, you are calm in their presence.

Do you want to learn more and get good advice as a parent? Read this article about vaccination against COVID-19 for children aged 5 to 11 years old (in Danish).

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