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Start the New School Year off Right:
Stay Up to Date with Your Vaccinations!

Young Black woman with yellow flower headband and short natural hair, smiling with her eyes and wearing a facemask. She stands with her arms folded in an orange dress with white collar and sleeves, outside, in front of a colorful mural.

 August has arrived, and that means it is nearly time for kids to go back to school! COVID-19 has had an impact on children in school for two and a half years. The 2022-2023 school year, is the first full school year in which children can get the COVID-19 vaccine and booster. Plan ahead this year! Keep your kids up to date on their vaccines and boosters. This will protect them and the rest of your community from COVID-19 and the flu. 

Why should my child get the COVID-19 and flu vaccines? 

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted children’s lives since March of 2020. New variants and cases are still rising. It is important to do all we can to protect our children from COVID-19 and the flu. If they are protected they can enjoy being at school with their friends. Read on to learn why it is important for kids to be vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 and the flu:

  1. Protect your child’s mental health: 
    • Doctors say they are seeing more children with depression and anxiety. When kids get sick with COVID-19 or the flu, they have to isolate themselves. Isolation can harm their mental health. Getting your child vaccinated and boosted is the best way to protect your child from getting sick and having to isolate.
  2. Protect your child with a disability:
    • Children with disabilities are at higher risk of getting very sick or dying from COVID-19 or the flu.
    • Children with disabilities, like weakened immune system or lung disabilities, are at an even higher risk of becoming very sick with COVID-19 or the flu.
  3. Protect your child from long COVID:
    • Children can be affected by long COVID too! It is difficult to predict how long COVID may impact their daily life. There is still a lot we don't know about long COVID. It is important to do everything you can to protect your child from long COVID. 
    • Children with long COVID may have symptoms like getting so tired they can't do normal activities. They may have trouble focusing, trouble breathing, anxiety, headaches, loss of taste and smell, and more. These symptoms can last a very long time. They can last months or even years.
    • Long COVID can make your child very sick. Long COVID can lead to further isolation and time away from friends. Getting your child vaccinated and boosted lowers their risk for long COVID. 
  4. Protect other members of your household. 
    • Even if your child is not at a high risk of getting very sick, someone else in your home could be. Getting your child vaccinated will protect others too. 

How to get and stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations 

Do you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccination? Are you unsure if your child is up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines? The South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Network is here to help! Check out our website for answers to your COVID-19 vaccine-related questions. Call our hotline at 1-800-787-6046 to talk to someone about COVID-19 and your vaccine plan

Everyone over 6 months old can get vaccinated.


Children ages 5 and up qualify for both COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots!


If your child got their COVID-19 vaccine over 5 months ago, they must get their booster shot to be up to date!


If your child does not have their booster shot, they are not protected from COVID-19, severe sickness, and death.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Children ages 12 and older can get the Novavax vaccine! Novavax is a traditional vaccine type. If your child is unvaccinated, talk to your doctor to find out if Novavax is right for them.

Graphic with light blue boxes and photo of a Black mother holding her toddler. They have bandaids on their arms indicating vaccination. Text reads, 'Should kids get vaccinated for COVID-19?Yes! Everyone 6 months old and up should get vaccinated!'

COVID-19 Vaccine Timeline 

Pfizer Vaccine (mRNA)

  • For Ages 6 months to 4 years:
    • Primary vaccine series: 3 total shots
      • First 2 shots given 3 to 8 weeks apart*
      • Third shot is given 8 weeks after 2nd shot
  • For Ages 5 and Up:
    • Primary vaccine series:
      • First 2 shots given 3 to 8 weeks apart*

Moderna Vaccine (mRNA)

  • For Ages 6 Months and Up:
    • Primary vaccine series:
      • First 2 shots given 4 weeks to 8 weeks apart*

J&J Vaccine (viral vector)

  • For Ages 18 and Up:
    • One dose primary vaccine:
      • 1 shot

Novavax (protein subunit)

  • For Ages 12 and Up:
    • Primary vaccine series:
      • 2 total shots given 3 weeks apart

Booster Shots:

  • For Ages 5 and Up:
    • 1st Booster:
      • You can get a booster shot 5 months after your primary series or 2 months after your J&J vaccine.
      • This booster shot can be Pfizer, Moderna or J&J
      • Pfizer for ages 5 and up
      • Moderna or J&J for ages 18 and up
  • For Immunocompromised people over 12:
    • 2nd Booster:
      • You can get another booster shot at least 4 months after your first booster.
      • This second booster shot can be Pfizer.

*A longer time between the 1st and 2nd shot may give you more protection and minimize rare side effects. Talk to your doctor about the timing for the 2nd dose in your primary series

Graphic with light blue boxes and photo of Carter, a young white boy wearing a facemask with his sleeve rolled up showing his bandaid. Text reads, 'As a kid with a disability why did you get the covid-19 vaccine? To protect my mommy and because i like to sit close to my friends. Carter Tissot.'

How to get a Flu Shot

You should get your flu shot by October to protect yourself and your family. Cases start to rise after October when it gets colder. You can still get a flu vaccine later on if necessary.  

  • Contact your doctor to ask about getting your flu shot.
  • You can also get your flu shot at a local pharmacy. 
  • Visit SCDHEC’s website to find vaccine locations
  • You can also call your child’s school and ask if they plan to have flu shot clinics!

There are many different options for the flu shot. Talk to your doctor if you're not sure which shot to get for you or your child.

The most common types of flu shots: 

  • Flu shot: Given with a needle in your arm
  • Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine: Live flu vaccine given in a nose spray
    • If you should not get the nasal spray flu vaccine if you have certain disabilities that weaken your immune system or a cochlear implant 
  • There are many other types of flu shots. To learn about all of the flu shots, you can visit the CDC website.

Resources for parents and caregivers

Footer with “SC Disability Vaccine Access Network” and partner logos below. From left to right: Able SC, AccessAbility, Disability Rights South Carolina, Walton Options, UofSC Center for Disability Resources, South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council.”

Contact our Vaccine Access Helpline at 1-800-787-6046.


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