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Statement from New Jersey Department of Health on the Expansion of Pfizer Booster to Include Ages 12-15

Last Updated: 01/05/2022

TRENTON – Today's recommendation to expand the Pfizer booster dose for everyone ages 12 and older five months after completing their two-dose series offers further protections against COVID-19 and its variants for this younger population.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's action follows the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only vaccine authorized for individuals younger than age 18.

"We all want to do the most we can to protect our children," said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. "Boosters will strengthen their defenses against serious illness, help them remain safely in schools, and also protect their families. Vaccines and boosters are our most vital tools in our fight against COVID-19 and its variants."

In New Jersey, more than 256,000 12- to 15-year-olds have received their primary series. By Monday, January 10, over 155,000 of these adolescents, or 61%, will be eligible for booster doses.

As of today, 6.4 million New Jersey residents are fully vaccinated and nearly 47 percent of potentially eligible New Jersey residents have received their booster doses.

With cases increasing, especially with the highly transmissible Omicron variant, it is critically important that those who are still unvaccinated get vaccinated today to protect themselves and those around them and to reduce the burden on our healthcare system in the event of illness.

Individuals who have completed their primary vaccine series are encouraged to get their booster. Pfizer boosters are available five months after completion of the primary two-dose series; Moderna six months after completion of the primary two-dose series; and Johnson & Johnson two months after completing the single-dose series.

There are approximately 2,000 vaccination sites in New Jersey. Visit covid19.nj.gov/finder to locate a vaccination site or if you need help finding an appointment, call the state's Vaccine Call Center at 1-855-568-0545.

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