I hope that the additional injection will strengthen the protection against COVID-19 for children aged 5 to 11 years, as infections grow again.

WASHINGTON – Children ages 5 to 11 should receive Pfizer’s booster dose Covid-19 coronavirus vaccineU.S. government advisers said Thursday.

When Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agree, as expected, this will open the third vaccination from COVID-19 to healthy infants – just like what is already recommended for everyone 12 years and older.

Hopefully, the additional vaccination will strengthen the protection of children aged 5 to 11 as the infections grow again.

Earlier this week, The Food and Drug Administration has allowed Pfizer to use a baby-sized boosterwhich will be offered at least five months after the last shot of the young men.

The CDC is taking the next step by recommending who really needs vaccinations. His advisers discussed whether an extra dose is needed for all healthy children ages 5 to 11, especially since so many children have been infected during the huge winter surge of the omicron option.

But now in the US for the first time since February, an average of 100,000 new cases are registered per day. And ultimately, CDC consultants pointed to the growing evidence of older children and adults that two primary vaccinations plus a booster provide the best protection against the latest coronavirus variants.

“Maybe it always had to be a three-dose vaccine,” said Dr. Grace Lee of Stanford University, who heads the CDC advisory group.

Vaccination is not the hottest topic of vaccines: parents are still looking forward to vaccinating children under 5 – the only group not yet eligible in the US

Dr Doran Fink of the Office of Food and Drug Administration said the agency was working “as fast as we could” to evaluate an application from vaccine maker Moderna, and was awaiting final data from rival Pfizer. FDA’s own advisers are expected to publicly discuss data from one or both companies next month.

It is still unclear for children aged 5 to 11 how much demand will increase. Only about 30% of this age group received the first two doses of Pfizer after they were vaccinated in November.

CDC adviser Dr Helen Cape Talbat of Vanderbilt University said health authorities should make more efforts to make initial vaccinations for young people.

“It should be a priority,” she said.

Thursday’s ruling also means that children ages 5 to 11 with severely weakened immune systems, who must receive three initial vaccinations, will be eligible for the fourth dose.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech are currently making the only vaccine against COVID-19 available to children of all ages in the United States. Those between the ages of 5 and 11 receive a dose that is one-third of the amount given to everyone 12 and older.

In a small study, Pfizer found that the booster boosts antibodies that fight viruses in these children, including those that are able to fight the super-contagious version of omicron – the same jump that adults get from an additional injection.

Vaccines may not always prevent milder infections, and the omicron option has proven particularly capable of slipping past their defenses. But the CDC cites data during the omicron burst, which showed that unvaccinated 5 to 11-year-olds were twice as likely to be hospitalized than children who received the first two doses.

Health authorities say vaccines for all ages continue to provide strong protection against the worst outcomes of COVID-19, especially after the third dose.

Some individuals at particularly high risk, including those 50 and older, were offered a choice of a second booster or a fourth vaccination. And it remains to be seen whether everyone will need additional vaccinations in the fall, possibly reformulated to provide better protection against new coronavirus variants.

The Associated Press Department of Health and Science receives support from the Department of Science Education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is fully responsible for all content.


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