FDA Approves Booster for 5-11 year old COVID Vaccine – Awaiting CDC Approval
Posted on May 17th, 2022 to Coronavirus
Today, the FDA approved a booster (3rd dose) of the Pfizer COVID vaccine for children aged 5-11 given 5 months after the second dose. The CDC will meet on Thursday to decide if they’ll give the final clearance. Once we get the green light, we’ll be ready to vaccinate your kids!
COVID vaccination is the most important thing you can do to protect your children from COVID infection. Since many of the masks have come off at school, and the Omicron BA.2 variant has arrived, it seems the number of our patients infected with COVID has gone through the roof! It feels like we have more COVID than in the January omicron spike. The case count does not reflect the many positive home tests that don’t get reported to the health department.
While most children have done well handling Omicron, many more kids have become infected than with previous strains because it is a more contagious virus. Therefore, pediatric hospitalizations have been higher than with previous strains. While many kids have asymptomatic or mild symptoms, for some kids it can really be terrible.
Infection with Omicron seems to only confer protection against re-infection for up to 3 months. And since the 5-11 year olds’ Pfizer vaccine was 1/3 the volume of the 12+ dose, protection in those children from the vaccine drops considerably by 3 months. Please don’t assume that if your child has had COVID infection already, or if they’ve had 2 doses of COVID vaccine, that they are fully protected. Generally, vaccines generate even better immune protection than the actual infection.
Please give your children the booster when they are eligible. We will notify you when final approval is granted.