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FDA clears COVID booster shot for kids ages 5 to 11

Virus Outbreak Kid Vaccine Booster
Posted at 4:39 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 21:34:05-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — If you are a parent or guardian who has been patiently waiting for your child to be able to get their COVID-19 booster shot the wait is now over.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. regulators have authorized a COVID-19 vaccine booster for healthy children ages 5 to 11. Everyone 12 and older already was supposed to get one booster dose for the best protection against the newest variants of the coronavirus.

The Food and Drug Administration’s action Tuesday now opens a third Pfizer shot to elementary-age kids, too -- at least five months after their last dose. There is one more hurdle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must decide whether to formally recommend the booster for this age group.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf says that although COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children than adults the omicron wave has seen more kids getting sick with the disease and being hospitalized. And children may also experience longer-term effects even following the initially mild disease.

The effectiveness of the Pfizer booster shot was found after antibody responses were evaluated in 67 study participants who received a booster dose 7 to 9 months after their two initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The antibody level against the virus one month after the booster dose increased compared to before the booster dose.

“This is all really important for people that have been waiting for their kids to get that booster dose, so this announcement is significant for families," explained Michelle Corson with the Kern County Public Health Services Department. "We are awaiting now the CDC to come out in the western states groups. So we're going to get that final confirmation from the state. It has always kind of come at us in that direction where the state is going to let us know, and then locally those boosters should be available in the very near future so we're just waiting for those final details.“

Corson adds that as they monitor the ever-changing COVID-19 cases reported in Kern County getting vaccinated and getting your booster shot still remains a vital tool in the ongoing fight against the virus.

If you need a vaccine or booster, the Boys & Girls Club of Kern County is still hosting free vaccine clinics for ages five and up in Bakersfield and Lamont. Those clinics are in collaboration with the Bakersfield College Student Health and Wellness Center and Kern County Public Health Services Department.

COVID Pop Up Testing and Vaccination Clinics

The Associated Press contributed to this report.