Last updated: May 26, 2022
Hi, I’m Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, the health officer for Anne Arundel County. Welcome to our Weekly Health Update. The COVID vaccines, masks, at home testing, and treatment are how you can continue to protect you and your loved ones from COVID. Today, let’s talk about the recommendation for boosters for 5 to 11-year-olds.
How are we doing with vaccinating children 5 to 11?
In the county, 53% of children 5 to 11 have gotten one dose of the vaccine and 47% have completed the two dose series. While that’s better than the state average, we still have a long way to go.
Why is this booster being recommended for 5 to 11-year-olds?
When people get vaccinated with the COVID vaccine, their immune response decreases over time. Boosters help bring your levels of immunity up to give you stronger protection against COVID. For people 12 and older, a booster is recommended 5 months after their second dose. In studies in children 5 to 11, a booster dose increased the antibody levels 1 month after the booster compared to before the booster. For this reason, a booster dose is now recommended for all 5 to 11-year-olds 5 months after their primary series of two doses.
Is this booster safe?
The booster is the same Pfizer dose as the primary series. Children may experience the same side effects that they do with the primary series.
What should I do?
While COVID is less severe in children, they do get sick and sometimes develop severe disease. If you haven’t already, get your children their primary two dose series of the COVID vaccine. And if they’ve gotten it, get your children boosted 5 months after they complete their primary series. Vaccines are the best way to keep your kids safer.
Staying up to date on vaccines is our best protection against severe disease and to decrease the spread of COVID.
Stay safe and be kind to yourself and others. We’ll see you next week.