COVID-19 vaccine boosters may be near for young children

booster shots
Posted at 2:01 PM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-15 18:06:27-04

(WXYZ) — COVID vaccine booster shots for young children may be on the horizon. Pfizer says it will soon ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorize the additional shot for kids ages five to eleven.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech are basing their recommendation on data that show the extra dose will dramatically boost a child’s immune response.

In fact, their study on children ages 5 to 11 who received the third shot showed a six-fold increase in antibodies that fight the original coronavirus strain. And, a smaller group of the children had 36 times more antibodies against the omicron variant.

The children in the Pfizer study received the booster six months after their second vaccine dose. The company says there were no safety issues associated with the third dose given to the children.

Now if you recall, the FDA provided emergency authorization last October for children ages 5 through 11 to receive the first two doses of COVID vaccine. Since then, studies by the CDC and New York State Department of Health found the effectiveness of the vaccine in young children dropped substantially during the omicron surge. However, the two doses did protect them from getting seriously ill.

Pfizer says it will submit all of their data to the FDA in the coming days in hopes of receiving emergency authorization for healthy elementary-age children to get the booster. If the FDA approves it, an additional 28 million children would become eligible for third doses of the vaccine.

And, remember, as of now, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one authorized for use in young people under 18.

Dr. Nandi, what about older children? What is the recommendation for them in regard to a booster shot?

The COVID vaccine booster dose for children ages 12 and older already has been approved by federal regulators. And health experts are urging everyone in this age group to get the booster, because studies have shown three doses are necessary to protect adults and adolescents from omicron and the newest variants. The CDC recommends that you get a booster at least 5 months after completing the primary COVID-19 vaccination series.

And, one other reminder regarding vaccine boosters. As we reported earlier, people ages 50 and over and those with compromised immune systems are now eligible to receive asecond booster shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

The bottom line? Staying up to date with vaccinations remains the best way to keep COVID at bay.

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