Some of the same people who didn’t want a COVID-19 vaccine for themselves probably won’t want it for their children either.

However, on Wednesday, Nov. 3 state health officials sent out formal notice of the availability of the vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 and provided details on how to get your kids vaccinated.

The announcement stated that the vaccine with the imposing name “Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19” is now being offered to young children.

The press release from the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) states: “Children ages 5 to 11 can now receive a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized a lower dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children in this age group, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend all children 5–11 get the vaccine to protect against serious illness and help keep them healthy.”

Throughout the pandemic, children have proven to be more resilient against coronavirus than older adults.  However, Guilford County and State of North Carolina health officials note that infected children in this age group can often spread the virus.

During the surge that took place in late summer and early fall, pediatric cases of COVID-19 rose by about 240 percent across the country, according to state health officials.

The Wednesday press release stated that results from clinical trials earlier this year have demonstrated that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for protecting children ages 5 to 11 from COVID-19.

NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, who has served as a key spokeswoman for the state throughout the pandemic stated that kids should get vaccinated, especially with school classes taking place across the state.

“Children are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus just like everyone else,” she said. “The authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provides a safe, tested way to protect them from serious illness and provide healthier, happier experiences in and outside of the classroom.”

She added, “Getting school-age kids vaccinated will help keep them safe to play sports, attend events, be with friends and do all of the other things kids love to do that they may currently be missing out on.  I will be getting my daughters vaccinated this weekend. Don’t wait to vaccinate your kids, so they get back to safely being with family and friends, especially as we head into the holiday season.”

Though state officials said clinical trials have demonstrated the safety of this vaccine for this age group, they also note that temporary side effects for kids 5 to 11 after being vaccinated can include things like a sore arm, headache and being tired or achy for a day or so. 

Children are supposed to get two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Each dose is one-third the amount given to people 12 and older. 

The vaccine is free for everyone regardless of whether they have insurance.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently the only one available for kids under 12.

Parents and guardians with questions about COVID-19 vaccines should talk with their child’s physician.

For more information about the vaccines, or to schedule an appointment, parents can visit

The North Carolina Vaccine Help Center at 888-675-4567 can also help arrange an appointment. The center is open from 7 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.