CDC calls for Pfizer booster for children ages 5 to 11

Children between the ages of 5 and 11 should receive a booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, U.S. government advisers said Thursday. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention quickly accepted the panel’s recommendation, opening a third Covid-19 shot for healthy primary-age children – just as already recommended for everyone 12 or older.

It is hoped that an additional shot will increase protection for children between the ages of 5 and 11 as the infection continues to grow. ” Vaccination with the primary series in this age group lags behind other age groups in that they are at risk of serious illness, ”CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

“We know that these vaccines are safe, and we must increase the number of protected children.” After the last shot of the youngsters.

The CDC takes the next step in recommending who actually needs the vaccine. Its advisers have argued that extra doses are needed for all otherwise healthy 5 to 11-year-olds, especially since many children became infected during the huge winter surge of the Omicron variant. But there are now an average of 100,000 new cases every day in the United States. For the first time since February. And finally, CDC advisers point to growing evidence from older children and adults that two early vaccines and a booster are providing the best protection against the new coronavirus form.

“It probably should have been a three-dose vaccine,” said Dr. Grace Lee of Stanford University, who chairs the CDC’s advisory panel. The booster question is not the most talked about vaccine issue: parents are still anxiously awaiting the opportunity to vaccinate their children. Less than 5 – The only team not yet qualified in the United States.

Dr Doran Fink of the Food and Drug Administration said the agency was working “as soon as we can” to evaluate an application from vaccine maker Modern and was waiting for final data on young children from rival Pfizer. The FDA’s own advisers are expected to hold a public debate next month on information from one or both companies. For 5 to 11 year olds, it is not clear how much booster will be in demand Only 30 percent of this age group has had the initial two Pfizer doses since the vaccine opened for them in November. Dr. Helen Kip Talbot, CDC advisor at Vanderbilt University, said health authorities need to do more to help young people take their initial shots.

“It needs to be a priority,” he said Thursday’s ruling means that those aged 5 to 11 who have a severely weakened immune system, who are supposed to take three initial shots, will be eligible for a fourth dose. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech currently offer the only COVID-19 vaccine available to children of any age in the United States who receive a dose of one-third of the dose given to those aged 5 to 11 years.

In a small study, Pfizer found that a booster revived levels of antibodies in children – which are able to fight off the highly contagious omikron variant – the same kind of jump adults get from extra shots. Vaccines cannot always prevent Mild infections, and omicron variants have proven to be particularly capable of shedding their defenses past. But the CDC cited data during the Omicron increase that showed that hospital admissions for children aged 5 to 11 were twice as high as for adolescents taking their first two doses.

Health authorities say vaccines for all ages still provide strong protection against the worst effects of COVID-19, especially after the third dose. Some particularly high-risk people, including those aged 50 and over, have been offered a second booster, or a fourth shot – and the CDC on Thursday reinforced that recommendation, urging anyone eligible to go ahead and get an extra dose. It remains to be seen whether everyone will need extra shots in the fall, possibly with improved protection against it. The new coronavirus variant.

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