CDC urges Pfizer booster for children ages 5 to 11

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U.S. health advisers are urging a booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quickly signed off on the advice.

The decision opens a third COVID-19 shot to healthy elementary-age kids, just like what is already recommended for everybody 12 and older.

Regulators this week authorized the extra dose to be given at least five months after youngsters’ last shot. CDC’s advisers endorsed it during a public meeting on Thursday.

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The following is from the CDC:

Following today’s meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP), CDC is expanding eligibility of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to everyone 5 years of age and older. CDC now recommends that children ages 5 through 11 years should receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series. Since the pandemic began, more than 4.8 million children ages 5 through 11 have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 15,000 have been hospitalized and, tragically, over 180 have died. As cases increase across the country, a booster dose will safely help restore and enhance protection against severe disease.

In addition, today CDC is strengthening its recommendation that those 12 and older who are immunocompromised and those 50 and older should receive a second booster dose at least 4 months after their first.  Over the past month we have seen steady increases in cases, with a steep and substantial increase in hospitalizations for older Americans. While older Americans have the highest coverage of any age group of first booster doses, most older Americans received their last dose (either their primary series or their first booster dose) many months ago, leaving many who are vulnerable without the protection they may need to prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death.

Whether it is your first booster, or your second, if you haven’t had a vaccine dose since the beginning of December 2021 and you are eligible, now is the time to get one.

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