CDC advisory panel votes in favor of booster shot recommendation for children ages 5-11
The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted Thursday in favor of children 5 to 11 receiving the Pfizer coronavirus booster shot.
The FDA authorized boosters for the age group on Tuesday saying it's safe to get a third shot five months after the second
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention quickly adopted the panel’s recommendation, opening a third COVID-19 shot to healthy elementary-age kids — just like what is already recommended for everybody 12 and older.
The hope is that an extra shot will shore up protection for kids ages 5 to 11 as infections once again are on the rise.
“Vaccination with a primary series among this age group has lagged behind other age groups leaving them vulnerable to serious illness,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in a statement.
“We know that these vaccines are safe, and we must continue to increase the number of children who are protected,” she said.
Rockland-based Pfizer's vaccine is the only shot approved for this age group as of now.
The approval comes at a critical time since the American Academy of Pediatrics says the number of COVID-19 cases among kids has been climbing for several weeks.
"Rather than trying to second guess it, proceed when the schedule dictates that your child is able and eligible to," says Dr. Christina Johns, of PM Pediatrics. "That's the safest and most effective thing in preventing a series of outcomes."
They found more than 93,000 cases in children and adolescents were reported last week, a 76% increase over two weeks prior.
Health authorities say for all ages, the vaccines are still offering strong protection against COVID-19's worst outcomes, especially after a third dose.