Children ages 5-11 should receive COVID booster

Published 1:00 pm Thursday, May 26, 2022

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On Tuesday, May 17, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for a single booster for children ages 5-11 five months after completion of their first vaccination.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met Thursday, May 19, and voted to recommend children 5-11 should receive a single booster vaccine five months following their first.

According to the CDC, since the pandemic began, more than 4.8 million children ages 5-11 have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 15,000 have been hospitalized and over 180 have died.

“I endorsed ACIP’s vote to expand eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine booster doses,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said. “Vaccination with a primary series among this age group has lagged behind other age groups leaving them vulnerable to serious illness. With over 18 million doses administered in this age group, we know that these vaccines are safe, and we must continue to increase the number of children who are protected.”

Rochelle said that with cases increasing, it is important that all people have the protection they need, which is why the CDC has also strengthened another booster recommendation.

According to a release, those age 50 and older and those who are 12 and older and immunocompromised should get a second booster dose.

“This pattern of ebb and flow with COVID-19 is our future with this disease, a periodic rise and fall that will require those who are most vulnerable to take extra care intermittently,” Piedmont Health District Director Dr. Maria Almond said. “Thankfully the ability to vaccinate and provide treatment if tested right away, now make this a disease for which we can avoid the most severe consequences. Please get vaccinated, get your boosters. Put on that protective seat belt that vaccination provides. Most of us will eventually get infected with COVID-19; we want to have that life-saving vaccination protection fully up-to-date when infection comes.”