New Jersey Department of Health

PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
May 12, 2021

Judith M. Persichilli

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Statement by New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli on Approval of Pfizer Vaccine for 12-15 Year-Olds

Today’s recommendation by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and acceptance by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expands the use of the Pfizer vaccine for 12-15-year-olds in New Jersey, and we are expeditiously moving forward.

Our vaccine provider network has significant experience administering Pfizer and already has been serving those aged 16 and older.  With today’s recommendations, following the Food and Drug Administration’s expansion of the Emergency Use Authorization earlier this week, we are notifying providers that they can move forward immediately to administer the Pfizer vaccine to this age group.

CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH said in a statement Wednesday evening: “For vaccination to do its job, we must do our critical part. That means vaccinating as many people as possible who are eligible. This official CDC action opens vaccination to approximately 17 million adolescents in the United States and strengthens our nation’s efforts to protect even more people from the effects of COVID-19. Getting adolescents vaccinated means their faster return to social activities and can provide parents and caregivers peace of mind knowing their family is protected.”

We are continuing to work with our mega-sites, hospitals, federal retail pharmacy partners, and select health departments to help provide the vaccine throughout New Jersey, as well as to the state’s Federally Qualified Health Centers, which serve underserved communities.  As with all vaccinations for minors, consent from a parent or guardian is required.

We encourage all parents and guardians to speak with their pediatricians or healthcare providers if they have questions and to get their children vaccinated.

With today’s announcement, we look forward to continuing our efforts to provide equitable vaccine access and ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine is able to receive one.

A new CDC webpage for parents on adolescent and teen vaccination can be found at: Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines

FDA Fact Sheets on the Pfizer vaccine and other information can be found at: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Information

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