CDC Updates Recommendations to Allow Covid Booster Shot for Children 12-15
With the start of the New Year, U.S. regulators issued a new expansion of the Covid-19 vaccine to include a booster shot for children ages 12-15. This news comes amidst the current spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant, with approval from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for an additional shot of the Pfizer vaccine.
This means children 12 and older can now get the third dose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges everyone to get the vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones from a serious and possibly life-threatening illness. The Omicron variant has been shown to spread easily, and the Covid booster shot is the best way to keep your family safe.
The CDC also shortened its recommended waiting period for the extra dose. New guidelines state that you and your family are now eligible for a booster shot five months after your second vaccine dose. (Initial guidelines recommended waiting six months.)
A booster may be allowed as early as 28 days after their second dose for children with weakened immune systems. These situations are decided on a case-by-case basis in communication with your pediatrician.
Things you should know about the Covid booster shot:
- The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is currently the only one available for children in the U.S.
- The booster shot is the same as previous doses in that it delivers the same amount of vaccine.
- The FDA has determined that this vaccine is safe for you and your children using real-world data.
- A third dose of vaccine provides better protection against Omicron and Delta variants.
- The booster shot is not yet recommended for children under the age of 12. Still, since kids 5-11 recently received their doses in November or later, they should have plenty of protection while awaiting eligibility for a third dose.
- Right now, Pfizer is still studying the vaccine and possible doses for children under the age of 5.
According to the CDC, two shots of the vaccine can provide about 35 percent protection against the Omicron variant. However, the booster shot increases vaccine effectiveness drastically, to roughly 75 percent.
With the high transmission rate of Omicron here in North Carolina and across the country, we recommend scheduling an appointment for your child’s booster shot as soon as they are eligible. Even if your child were only to suffer a mild Covid infection, they could easily pass on the virus to others, and there is still much we do not know about extended, chronic Covid symptoms. As the Omicron variant surges, more unvaccinated children are also becoming hospitalized.
If you have any questions about the booster shot for your child, or if you’d like to discuss the Omicron variant or other concerns, please contact us or book an appointment.
You can protect yourself and your family by staying up-to-date with Covid vaccinations and wearing a mask anytime in a public space. If you suspect you or someone in your household may be sick with the virus, please stay home. At-home testing kits are available and can be ordered online.
We’ll keep you updated as the CDC issues new guidelines and recommendations. Check in with us on Instagram and Facebook for the latest information, and feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions related to Covid-19.