Family perspectives: Vaccinating children against COVID-19

By Mayo Clinic Staff

January 8, 2022

Across the United States, families are weighing their options to protect their children against COVID-19. For eight families, the COVID-19 vaccine was a clear choice. Their motivation is the desire to keep family members safe, protect the community and return to pre-pandemic activities.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has received emergency use authorization for children ages 5 through 15. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, now called Comirnaty, for people age 16 and older. Children ages 12 to 17 should get a Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster shot if they've received both doses of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Learn how these families made the decision to vaccinate themselves and their children and what they want others to know about the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Acosta Family


Steven and Jocelyn Acosta live in Pennsylvania with their three children, Ceara, 18, Angelina, 14, and Evan, 11. Most members of the family have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Steven and Jocelyn are looking forward to having their youngest child — Evan — vaccinated to protect him and other family members against COVID-19.

The Ardon Family


Alberto E. Ardon, M.D., M.P.H., is a doctor trained in anesthesia (anesthesiologist), and his wife, Tina Ardon, M.D., is a family doctor. They live in Florida. Both have received the COVID-19 vaccine. They’re eager to have their three young children vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Bartz Family


Alicia Bartz and her husband, Pete J. Bartz, M.D., who is a doctor trained in treating children with heart and blood vessel conditions (pediatric cardiologist), live in Wisconsin with their three children, Maddie, 17, Sam, 15, and Ella, 13. The whole family is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. They are enjoying school activities, sports events and visits with the grandparents.

The Cowart Family


Jennifer B. Cowart, M.D., is an internal medicine doctor who lives in Florida with her family. She and her husband, Justin, are both fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Dr. Cowart and her husband plan to get their children — Ellie, 8, and Henry, 4 — vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Gauthier-Auguste Family


Michelle Gauthier and Robert Auguste live in Florida with their three young children, Naya, 9, Nathaniel, 3, and Noah, 1. They decided to get vaccinated against COVID-19 after a family member was infected with the COVID-19 virus and hospitalized. They explain that they continue to take precautions to keep their family safe since two of their children aren’t yet eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Muuss-Pasca Family

New York

Terri Muuss and Matt Pasca live in New York with their two children, Rainer, 15, and Atticus, 13. The family is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. They say they chose to get the COVID-19 vaccine to protect their family and do their part to help end the pandemic.

The Simon Family


Leslie V. Simon, D.O., is an emergency department doctor who lives with her husband and four children in Florida. Having been on the front lines treating people infected with the COVID-19 virus, Leslie was eager for the family to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. The family is now fully vaccinated.

The Sood Family

New Jersey

The Sood family lives in New Jersey. They believe that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect their family and their community. Until their son Siddharth, 11, is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, they’ve decided to continue to take precautions, such as wearing masks and social distancing.