CDC panel recommends boosters for kids 12 and up – CNET

Sarah Tew/CNET

A committee that advises the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted Wednesday to recommend Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster for kids age 12 and up, at least five months after their second shot. 

Before the recommendation is official, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky will need to accept the panel’s guidance, but she’s expected to soon. The committee of scientists typically meets to go over data on vaccine safety and effectiveness before shots are recommended and start rolling out to the public. 

Boosters have been available for everyone age 16 and up as health officials encourage extra doses as a way to maximize protection against COVID-19 disease caused by the omicron variant. As COVID cases hit record numbers in the US, including in children, more efforts are being made to protect kids. Earlier this week, the US Food and Drug Administration authorized boosters for kids 12 to 15 and signed off on third doses for immunocompromised children as young as 5. The FDA also shortened the waiting period between people’s second dose of Pfizer and the booster from six months to five. (People who received Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine still need to wait at least six months to get a booster, and those who got Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine should wait at least two months.)

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is the only one authorized for kids and teens. Children under age 12 who aren’t moderately or severely immunocompromised shouldn’t get a third COVID-19 shot at this time. 

Read more: How to find an at-home COVID test today

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