FDA OK’s Pfizer booster shots for children 5-11 while low vaccination rate remains

SPOKANE, Wash.– The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given emergency use authorization for the third dose of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged between 5 and 11.

The age bracket between 5 and 11 may have a chance to get a booster dose at least five months after being fully vaccinated.

“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 initially mild disease,” FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf said.

However, the rate of fully vaccinated children nationwide is still lower than in other age groups.

Nationwide, nearly 29% of children aged between 5 and 11 are fully vaccinated, whereas North Idaho shows only 10.1% of kids are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In Spokane County, the rate of fully vaccinated children is more than 20%.

So why the push to get your children boosted when primary vaccination rates are still low in the young age group? For children to get the less severe disease and have a reduction in hospital rates.

“Even though not everyone has received vaccine doses, the children who have been vaccinated we really do want them to receive their boosters, so they can get all the doses recommended for them,” said Kayla Myers, Immunization Program Coordinator, Spokane Regional Health District. “It’s better to have your child vaccinated against something rather than having them get the disease.”

The CDC’s advisors on vaccine practices will meet this Thursday to vote on full approval and potential implementation of the booster shot for the 5 to 11 age group.

READ: Spokane County aims to waste as few vaccines as possible