On Wednesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its advice for the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccination booster, allowing children as young as 12 to get it at least five months after completing the initial vaccine series.
The FDA on Monday extended Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccination boosters’ emergency use authorization to children aged 12 to 15. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted 13-1 on Wednesday to recommend the wider use of Covid-19 boosters for children in this age range.
In December, the CDC approved the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use as a booster in ages 16 and 17.
In a news release, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky remarked, “It is critical that we protect our children and teens from COVID-19 infection and the complications of severe disease.” “Today, I endorsed ACIP’s vote to expand eligibility and strengthen our recommendations for booster doses. We now recommend that all adolescents aged 12-17 years should receive a booster shot 5 months after their primary series. This booster dose will provide optimized protection against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. I encourage all parents to keep their children up to date with CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.”
The ACIP recommendation came after members heard evidence on rare incidences of myocarditis and pericarditis in young kids who had received Covid-19 vaccinations, as well as concerns from many parents regarding vaccine long-term negative effects. They also took into account the fact that vaccine uptake among 12- to 17-year-olds has declined recently, as well as the fact that there have been record numbers of Covid-19 infections in minors, despite an increase in the highly transmissible Omicron strain of the coronavirus.
The CDC approved lowering the booster interval for those who received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from six to five months on Tuesday. It’s also suggested that moderately or severely immunocompromised 5- to 11-year-olds have another primary dosage 28 days following their second shot; only the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is approved for that age group.
The booster dosage from Pfizer has the same amount of vaccination as the first dose: 30 micrograms.
In mid-May, adolescents aged 12 to 15 became eligible to get their first round of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, bringing the total number of persons vaccinated to almost 17 million.
According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly half of the population aged 12 to 15 is now fully vaccinated, or 8.7 million people. Approximately 5 million have been properly vaccinated for more than five months and are now eligible for a booster dose.
Children in this age range make up around 5% of the total population of the United States. According to the most recent CDC data, they make up around 4% of the fully vaccinated population in the US and about 3% of those eligible for a booster injection.
Adults who had completed their initial series of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccination at least six months ago, as well as those who had had their initial Johnson & Johnson shot at least two months ago, should get a booster dose, according to the CDC.
In the United States, about 71.6 million people have been fully vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19. That’s fewer than half of the almost 180 million people who are eligible for a booster shot, and about a fifth of the overall population of the United States. According to the most recent CDC data, at least 67.5 million persons aged 5 and up have not yet gotten their first dose of Covid-19 vaccination.
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