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Scheduled a COVID-19 vaccine for your child? Here's what you need to look out for

After the children's vaccine mix-up in Loudoun County, here is what parents should look out for.

WASHINGTON — What should you be looking out for when you take your child to get their COVID-19 vaccine?

After the vaccine mix-up in Loudoun County, we went to the experts to give parents a quick run-through of what to expect to see when your child goes in for the shot.


1. Ony one COVID-19 vaccine has Emergency Use Authorization

The FDA has only granted emergency use authorization for one vaccine for children: the Pfizer vaccine. It’s approved for children aged 5 to 11.

2. The COVID-19 vaccine has an orange cap

When your child sits down to get the shot, the vial holding the vaccine should have an orange cap and a label with an orange border, according to the FDA.

This is the big noticeable difference from adult doses, which come with a purple cap and label with a purple border.

So again, an orange cap for kids.

3. The doses are different

While adults and children get two shots, the doses are different. For adults, it’s 30 micrograms and for children, it is 10 micrograms.


“In some cases, if you give someone a dose that’s too high, you may have a more robust response than you need to and that can lead more likely to side effects,” Dr. Agwu said.

“Kids have such a robust immune system and their ability to respond to that stimulus is so great, they found they can use a lower dose, which is optimistic,” Dr. Milstone said.

Again, when your child goes to get the shot, it should be Pfizer, in a vial with an orange cap and label border and be 10 micrograms.

What happens if you find yourself in a situation like the parents in Loudoun County?

It is most important to contact your child’s pediatrician or health care provider to figure out the next steps.

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