Pfizer COVID-19 booster dose for children 5-11 now authorized, recommendations updated

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(Graphic from ADPH)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Children ages 5 – 11 are now authorized to receive a booster dose of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least five months after completion of the primary vaccine series. Children ages 5 – 11 years who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive a booster 3 months after completing their primary series.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have granted emergency use authorization, and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and other vaccine providers are now making the children’s booster dose available in order to offer an extra layer of protection. The CDC continues to recommend a booster dose of Pfizer vaccine for children and adolescents ages 12 – 17.

Boosters are important, as children may experience longer term effects of COVID 19, even after having mild disease. Two doses of COVID 19 vaccine, however, continue to provide protection against more severe illness resulting in urgent care or hospitalization. Parents with questions are encouraged to talk with their child’s healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn more about boosters, and the importance of keeping children up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.

In addition, CDC strengthened its COVID-19 vaccination guidance to recommend that everyone ages 50 years and older who received any COVID-19 booster dose—as well as people ages 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised—receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. CDC previously encouraged these populations to consider receiving a second booster dose based on their individual circumstances. However, over the past few weeks, CDC reports there has been a steep and substantial increase in hospitalizations for older Americans. Another COVID-19 booster dose could help restore protection that may wane over time.

The ADPH continues to urge the public to be vaccinated as the best way to protect themselves and the people around them. To find a COVID-19 vaccine clinic near you, text your zip code to 438829 or visit https://www.vaccines.gov/. All county health departments offer COVID-19 vaccine at no charge for ages 5 and older.

For general COVID-19 questions, call 1-800-270-7268 or email covid19info@adph.state.al.us. Telephone calls are answered from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Interpreters are available.