ATLANTA, USA, (CDC) – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded eligibility of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to everyone 5 years of age and older, recommending that children ages 5 through 11 years should receive a booster shot five months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series.
Vaccination with a primary series among this age group has lagged behind other age groups leaving them vulnerable to serious illness.
CDC has also strengthened its recommendation that those 12 and older who are immunocompromised and those 50 and older should receive a second booster dose at least four months after their first.
While older Americans have the highest coverage of any age group of first booster doses, most older Americans received their last dose many months ago, leaving many who are vulnerable without the protection they may need to prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death.
Six things to know about COVID-19 vaccination for children
- COVID-19 vaccination for children is safe: Ongoing safety monitoring shows that COVID-19 vaccination continues to be safe for children and that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks.
- Getting vaccinated can help protect children against COVID-19: COVID-19 vaccination continues to protect children against severe disease, including hospitalization. There is no way to tell in advance how children will be affected by COVID-19. Children with underlying medical conditions are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. However, healthy children without underlying medical conditions can also experience severe illness.
- Children may have some side effects after COVID-19 vaccination: Side effects may affect your child’s ability to do daily activities, but they should go away within a few days. Side effects are more common after the second shot. Some children have no side effects.
- A different dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine is given to children: Children receive a smaller dose of COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccine dosage is based on age on the day of vaccination, not by patient weight. This is also true for other routinely recommended vaccines, like hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.
- Children who have already had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated: Emerging evidence indicates that people can get added protection by getting vaccinated after they have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Children can safely receive other vaccines the same day they receive their COVID-19 vaccine: If multiple vaccines are given at a single visit, each injection will be given in a different injection site, according to recommendations by age.
Getting your COVID-19 booster
COVID-19 vaccine boosters are an important part of protecting yourself from getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. They are recommended for most people.
A booster can further enhance or restore protection that might have waned over time after your primary series vaccination.
If you need help deciding when or if you (or your child) can get one or more COVID-19 boosters, visit COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters | CDC and use the decision tool.
It is never too late to get the added protection offered by a COVID-19 booster. Find a vaccine provider.