Health Care

CDC board votes in favor of recommending COVID-19 vaccine boosters for kids 5-11

The vaccine advisory board for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday voted in favor of recommending COVID-19 vaccine boosters for children aged 5 to 11.

Out of 15 members on the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 11 voted in favor of recommending a third vaccine dose for children in the 5-11 age range, passing the motion.

This recommendation comes just two days after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster shot for children in that age group.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is likely to sign off on the recommendation later Thursday. Children who received their first dose at least five months ago will then be eligible.

Throughout the five-hour meeting that the ACIP held on Thursday, health officials continually cited data that found booster doses in children within this age range were safe and effective at reducing hospitalizations and deaths.

Some side effects were observed in the studies that were presented, though officials noted that many of the side effects could not be directly tied to immunizations.

While pediatric hospitalizations increased to record numbers during the omicron surge, parents have proved hesitant to vaccinate their kids.

According to the most recent data from the CDC, about 36 percent of children in the U.S. aged 5-11 are partially vaccinated and nearly 29 percent are fully vaccinated. 

Updated at 5:28 p.m.

Tags CDC CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccines COVID-19 vaccines Rochelle Walensky vaccine boosters

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