U.S. health advisers are urging a booster dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quickly signed off on the advice.
The decision opens a third COVID-19 shot to healthy elementary-age kids, just like what is already recommended for everybody 12 and older.
Regulators this week authorized the extra dose to be given at least five months after youngsters' last shot. CDC's advisers endorsed it during a public meeting on Thursday.
Christy Gray, MPH, Virginia's state vaccination coordinator and director of the Virginia Department of Health's Division of Immunization, issued the following statement after the recommendation:
“VDH urges parents to talk to their pediatrician or other healthcare provider about getting their child boosted. Vaccination helps to keep children from getting very sick, developing short- and long-term health problems, and reduce spread to loved ones and communities. COVID-19 cases are rising in Virginia and this is a step parents can take to continue their child’s protection. The best way for parents to protect their children is through vaccination, which we urge parents to consider for their children’s safety and well-being.
“As COVID-19 cases are rising in Virginia, VDH urges those eligible for a second booster vaccine to talk to their healthcare provider to ensure continued protection against severe illness.”
The VDH says currently, more than 144,606 children in Virginia who were fully vaccinated as of Dec. 17, 2021, are now eligible for a booster vaccination.
To find free vaccination opportunities near you, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1)