Vaccinations are said to ease the minds of many parents concerned about protecting their young children and frustrated by frequent school closings and quarantines. Coronavirus outbreaks forced 2,000 schools to close between early August and October. Every million doses given to children aged 5 to 11 would prevent approximately 58,000 cases and 226 hospitalizations in this age group, according to a CDC quote.
CDC advisers also assessed information about the risks of the vaccine. There was enough data to conclude that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks, even without more long-term safety data, said Dr. Matthew Daley, principal investigator at Kaiser Permanente Colorado. âIf we wait, we are missing the opportunity to avoid many cases of Covid-19 in this age group, and that includes some very serious cases. “
Yet many parents are reluctant to vaccinate their children, citing concerns about the long-term safety of the vaccine or because they fear the vaccine is more harmful than Covid-19.
About three in ten parents say they certainly not get vaccinated for their children aged 5 to 11, according to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation survey. A similar percentage of parents said they would get their children vaccinated “right away,” a figure that has barely budged since similar polls in July and September.
What to know about Covid-19 booster injections
The FDA has cleared booster shots for millions of recipients of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna beneficiaries who are eligible for a recall include people 65 years of age and older and young adults at high risk of severe Covid-19 due to medical conditions or their workplace. Eligible Pfizer and Moderna beneficiaries may receive a booster at least six months after their second dose. All Johnson & Johnson recipients will be eligible for a second injection at least two months after the first.
Yes. The FDA has updated its clearances to allow medical providers to boost people with a different vaccine than the one they originally received, a strategy known as “mix and match.” Whether you have received Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or Pfizer-BioNTech, you may receive a booster of any other vaccine. Regulators have not recommended any vaccine over another as a booster. They have also remained silent on whether it is best to stick to the same vaccine when possible.
The CDC said the conditions that qualify a person for a booster shot include: hypertension and heart disease; diabetes or obesity; cancer or blood disorders; weakened immune system; chronic lung, kidney or liver disease; dementia and some disabilities. Pregnant women and current and former smokers are also eligible.
The FDA has cleared the boosters for workers whose work puts them at high risk of exposure to potentially infectious people. The CDC says this group includes: emergency medical workers; education workers; food and agricultural workers; manufacturing workers; correctional workers; workers in the US postal service; public transport workers; employees of grocery stores.
Yes. The CDC says the Covid vaccine can be given regardless of the timing of other vaccines, and many pharmacy websites allow people to schedule a flu shot along with a booster dose.
Before FDA advisers met last week, they were bombarded with thousands of emails spilling out false information about the vaccine and asking experts to vote against it. A common objection to the vaccine is that children rarely get sick from the virus, and the potential harm from the vaccine may outweigh its benefits.
But while children are much less likely than adults to become seriously ill from the virus, their risk is not zero. Many children were infected with the coronavirus in the latest wave, and children between the ages of 5 and 11 accounted for nearly 11% of all cases the week of October 10, according to data collected by the CDC.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 8,300 children aged 5 to 11 have been hospitalized with Covid, and at least 94 have died. About a third of hospitalized children were sick enough to be admitted to intensive care units.