CDC committee approves recommending Pfizer COVID-19 booster for children ages 5 to 11

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Thursday, a CDC committee voted of recommending Pfizer booster shots for children ages five to 11, given at least five months after a child’s last vaccine.

If the CDC director signs off on it, Children’s Minnesota said they would be prepared to roll out booster shots for children in that age group.

“I believe our organization will be looking to start vaccinating as early as next week,” said Joe Kurland, vaccine specialist and infection preventionist at Children’s Minnesota.

Kurland said only 38% of Minnesota kids in the five to 11 age group are fully vaccinated.

When asked why young children should get vaccinated and boosted, Kurland responded, “It’s true not many children do get severe COVID, and kids are amazingly resilient. However, there’s no great marker or indicator on which child will suffer severe illness. Parents really should feel confident taking their children in to get their booster doses.”

5 EYEWITNESS News also asked the Minnesota Department of Health to share some perspective on the current COVID-19 surge. A spokesperson provided this statement:

“Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in Minnesota. While we are all tired of COVID-19, this increase in cases is another reminder that the virus continues to circulate in the community.

The good news is that, so far, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths have not increased at the same rate as cases. They are likely not increasing like they would have in the past because of the tools we now have, like vaccines, boosters, and treatments for COVID-19.

As risk calculations and protective measures have become more individualized, it’s important to understand your level of risk and the risks of those around you so that you can take precautions that are appropriate for your circumstances.

Experts recommend getting the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters as soon as you are eligible. Staying up to date on vaccination provides Minnesotans with the best protection against severe illness.

If you develop symptoms or have exposure to someone with COVID-19, be sure to use one of the several testing resources now available to Minnesotans. If the test shows you are infected, talk with your health care provider or pharmacy as soon as possible about early treatments, especially if you are in a high-risk category.