In early November, the FDA approved emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID 19 vaccine in children ages 5-11, paving the way for more school-aged children to get vaccinated against the virus. The CDC followed up by issuing a recommendation that all children eligible receive the vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine is the first pediatric COVID 19 vaccine available and was previously approved for children over 12. The dosage for children is one-third of an adult dose, and children who receive the first dose will need to return in three weeks for a second. As with the adult COVID 19 vaccine, getting children vaccinated is free of charge regardless of health insurance or immigration status.

NJ Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli has urged parents to get their children vaccinated to protect young kids from severe illness and increase herd immunity. The vaccine, she said, is effective at preventing infection in children. It is especially important for children with underlying conditions, as they are at higher risk for severe illness if infected.

Many parents have expressed concerns over giving the vaccine to their children, but the CDC and the FDA have emphasized that the vaccine is safe and that severe reactions are very rare. For more information about vaccine safety, visit the CDC website and discuss any questions with the child’s pediatrician.

All 21 NJ counties have sites offering the vaccine to children. For a more comprehensive list of locations, use the NJ vaccine locator.

For more information or if you would like to discuss your options with an attorney, contact Sandra Lascari at or (973) 377-6725.