Health Commissioner Dr. Swannie Jett wishes to share information and guidance following the authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children and teens age 12 and older.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday and became immediately available to those ages 12-15 following a meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vaccine Advisory Committee on Wednesday. Those 16 and older have been authorized to receive the Pfizer vaccine since December 2020, and eligible in Massachusetts since April 19.

Pfizer is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine available to those younger than 18 and has been determined through clinical trials to be extraordinarily effective at preventing severe illness from COVID-19.

“Families should get their teenagers vaccinated as soon as possible, and take comfort in the authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine for all people 12 and up as an indicator of its both its safety and its strong effectiveness in preventing severe impacts due to COVID-19,” Dr. Jett said. “This is a major milestone, and an indicator that we are as close as we’ve been to normalcy since last winter, so I encourage everyone in Brookline who qualifies to get vaccinated and help us put an end to the pandemic.”

The Town of Brookline wishes to share the following additional guidance:

  • A parent, guardian or otherwise legally authorized representative must give consent for a minor to be vaccinated, which may require written consent the child or teen can bring to their vaccination appointment. For more information or to download a consent form, click here.
  • Parents and guardians do not need to go with the minor to the vaccination appointment to give consent if they have provided written consent.
  • Among the children and teens in Pfizer’s clinical trial who received the vaccine and not the placebo, the most common side effects following their vaccination were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever, and joint pain. Side effects normally lasted 1-3 days and were more common after the second dose.
  • These side effects are the same as those experienced by adults.
    Side effects are a normal physical response to a vaccine and indicate the vaccine is doing its job and teaching your body how to fight off COVID-19.
  • The vaccine does not contain the coronavirus itself, either in an active or inactive form.
  • For more information about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.
  • Use to search for appointments at pharmacies, health care providers, and other community locations
  • Preregister at to be notified when it’s your turn to schedule an appointment at a mass vaccination or regional collaborative location.
  • People without access to the internet or who are unable to preregister or schedule their appointment online can call toll-free 2-1-1 or (877) 211-6277 for assistance.

The Town of Brookline has made answers to frequently asked questions available on its COVID-19 portal, which can be accessed directly by visiting