Health

When should children take a COVID-19 booster?


OLDchildren have always been the hardest-hit group to get a COVID-19 vaccine, so it’s no coincidence that they’re the last to get vaccinated; Manufacturers and government agencies want to take great care to find the right dosage and safety profile for the youngest Americans.

The same is true for rocket boosters. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about boosters for kids.

Which children are eligible for booster shots?

On May 19, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extend eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech booster program for all Americans 5 years of age and younger and recommends that everyone in that age group receive the booster. “The main goal of vaccination is to keep people from getting very sick,” said Dr. Stan Spinner, medical director and vice president of the Texas Department of Pediatrics and Children’s Urgent Care. “Studies have shown that, like in adults, immunity from the primary Pfizer-BioNTech series of vaccines has tended to wane. Giving children 5 to 11 years of age a single booster dose increased their immune response to give them better protection from infection and very strong protection against more serious consequences. of COVID-19 can lead to hospitalization or death. “

Currently, children can only get Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as a booster. That could change in mid-June, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC complete a review of data submitted by Moderna on the safety and effectiveness of the injection. for children.

When should a child get a booster dose?

CDC recommends that children get a booster dose five months after the end of the two-shot main course of COVID-19 vaccination. For children 12 years and older, that means the booster dose is the same as their main series, which is the same dosage for adults. For children 5 to 11 years old, that is one-third of the adult dose.

For children with weakened immune systems, their main series is actually three doses of the vaccine, which gives them the strongest immune response possible and can reduce their risk of hospitalization or death. due to COVID-19.

The CDC recommends a booster shot for immunocompromised children — that would be the fourth dose — based on their age. Children 5 to 17 years of age with weakened immune systems should receive a booster dose three months after receiving the main three-dose series. Immunocompromised children 12 years of age and older should also receive a second booster – a fifth dose – four months after the first booster dose to keep their immune responses working as well as possible.

How effective is the vaccine and booster dose in children?

When combined with a booster shot, the COVID-19 vaccine is 80% to 90% effective in continuing to protect children from the more severe consequences of COVID-19. “The immune response in children is relatively comparable to that in adolescents and adults,” says Spinner.

Are vaccines and boosters safe for children?

Studies have shown that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is safe in children. Research has found that a very small number of older children have experienced multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system produces an active inflammatory response, after vaccination, and MIS-C is now listed as a possible systemic side effect CDC’s Vaccine Safety Monitor. But it is unclear whether the vaccine is linked to the condition, or whether the children developing it have also been infected with the virus, as SARS-CoV-2 itself is known to be involved. MIS-C.

This vaccine has also been linked to a small number of cases heart tissue inflammation, mainly in adolescent males. CDC continues to recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for children, based on evidence that the benefits of vaccination outweigh these potential risks.

Should I wait until fall to give my kids a health boost so they’re protected before going to school?

With COVID-19 cases on the rise in most parts of the country, doctors recommend that parents get their children vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible. “When there is enough virus in the community – which is present now – and the risk of infection becomes higher – now – delaying vaccination will not make any sense,” Spinner said. “Children go out and about, fewer people wear masks, kids go to camps and playgroups, so they’re exposed during the summer. Why wait to get your child vaccinated? ”

Will the child continue to have booster shots every few months?

Public health experts at the CDC are looking at the data to answer this question, not just for children but for adults as well. To date, every approved COVID-19 vaccine has been developed using the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. Fortunately, vaccines are still effective in inducing strong immune responses to the different variants of the virus that have emerged. But medical experts and vaccine manufacturers have recently developed new, unauthorised vaccines that target the latest variants, including Omicron, and are studying whether those shots can produce a stronger effect, and hopefully longer lasting, protection from fatal disease.

Can babies and toddlers be vaccinated or boosted?

Not yet. There is no approved COVID-19 vaccine for the youngest children — ages six months to four years — but the FDA’s independent panel of experts will safe and effective data review on immunizing these children on June 14-15, 2022.

The FDA and CDC are reviewing data from two vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, that have submitted studies on vaccine safety and effectiveness in children six months to four years of age (for children aged six months to four years). with Pfizer) and six months to six years old (Moderna). Moderna’s data showed that two doses of their vaccine, with a quarter of the dose used for adults, helped these children produce the same levels of virus-blocking antibodies as adults. Pfizer-BioNTech has announced similar efficacy with its vaccine, except after three doses and at a third of the dose used in children aged 5 to 11 years.

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