FDA Approves COVID Boosters for Children Ages 5 to 11 – Low Calorie Diets Tips

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster for children ages 5 to 11. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to make recommendations on which children need the booster vaccine.

Vaccines are the best way to prevent serious illnesses in people of all ages, including children. Based on available data, our healthcare providers and pediatricians at Cook Children’s strongly recommend that parents have their children vaccinated and kept up to date as soon as they are eligible. Children aged 5 to 11 are now eligible for the extra dose at least five months after their second vaccination.

This news comes after the first booster (third dose) of Pfizer’s BioNTech vaccine was approved for children aged 12 to 17.

We asked Nicholas Rister, MDfrom the Cook Children’s Infectious Disease Team to answer some of the key questions parents and carers may have.

Why should my child get the COVID vaccine?

Children are at risk of contracting COVID-19 disease, being hospitalized and, in rare cases, dying from the infection. More often they get a mild infection and recover quickly, but vaccination can prevent the development of a more serious disease. This is especially true for children with underlying risk factors such as obesity, chronic lung diseases such as asthma, seizures, and immunodeficiency.

How do we know it’s safe for children 5 to 11?

A pediatric drug study involving 140 children aged 5 to 11 years was submitted to the FDA and showed high efficacy and safety. In addition, blood samples showed similar antibody development compared to data in older children and young adults. A sharp rise in antibodies specifically targeting COVID-19 has been observed in patients after a third dose of the vaccine, regardless of whether they previously had COVID-19 disease.

How long before the booster vaccine is available for children aged 5 to 11?

With formal FDA approval, a Pfizer vaccine can be offered to all children ages 5 to 11. However, be sure to check with your immunization center to see if they currently have the Pfizer vaccine available for these children.

If my child has recently contracted COVID, how long should we wait for the booster shot?

There were few formal recommendations as to when to give a booster shot after COVID infection. This is mainly because there is tremendous variability in how different individuals are infected and how robust their antibody response is. It is widely believed that after COVID infection there is a period of 3 to 6 months when reinfection, particularly severe infection, is unlikely. However, there is no reason why you or your child should have to wait to get the booster shot. Whether a booster shot is given immediately after recovery from the disease or a few months later, the antibody response was excellent.

What should parents do if they have additional questions?

Talk to your pediatrician. You have your child’s medical history and are the best source of information on the subject. They have the latest information and want to help you make an informed decision.

If your child is a candidate for the COVID-19 vaccination, please contact the local pediatric office to schedule an appointment.

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