The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently expanded the eligibility of Covid-19 vaccine booster doses to everyone 5 years of age and older, San Benito County health officials advised in a press release. Specifically, the CDC recommends that children ages 5-11 should receive a booster shot five months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series.
Since the pandemic began, more than 15,000 children ages 5-11 have been hospitalized and more than 180 have died, says the press release. As cases increase across the country, health officials say a booster dose will safely help restore and enhance protection against severe disease.
In addition, this week the CDC strengthened its recommendation that people age 12 and older who are immunocompromised, as well as those 50 and older, should receive a second booster dose at least four months after their first. Over the past month there has been a significant increase in Covid-19 cases, with a steep and substantial increase in hospitalizations for older Americans.
While older Americans have the highest coverage of any age group of first booster doses, most older Americans received their last dose (either their primary series or their first booster dose) many months ago, leaving many who are vulnerable without the protection they may need to prevent severe disease, hospitalization and death, adds the press release.
Vaccination with a primary series among the 5–11-year-old age group has lagged other age groups, leaving them vulnerable to serious illness. With more than 18 million doses administered in this age group, there is assurance that these vaccines are safe and increase the number of children who are protected. “San Benito County Public Health Services encourages parents to keep their children up to date with CDC’s Covid-19 vaccine recommendations,” the county’s press release says.
Check the State’s MyTurn vaccine system at myturn.ca.gov or call 1.833.422.4255 for Covid-19 vaccine booster appointments and/or walk-in options. Check with your healthcare provider or local pharmacy for vaccine availability. For more information about Covid-19 vaccines, visit covid19.ca.gov/vaccines.