CDC Approves Booster Shots for Children 5-11

Katriona Page, Senior Copy Editor

On May 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded booster eligibility for children ages five to 11. 

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky authorized the decision, statingWith over 18 million doses administered in this age group, we know that these vaccines are safe, and we must continue to increase the number of children who are protected.”

This decision comes after an independent committee that advises the CDC voted 11-1-1 (one adviser declined to vote) in favor of expanding access. Research shows that after two doses, vaccine effectiveness rapidly declines, especially for Omicron, a particularly aggressive strain of COVID-19. Receiving the booster improves effectiveness by up to 71% and combats diminishing immunity. Additionally, COVID-19 cases in the United States are trending upwards, and worldwide, some countries — such as China — are introducing new lockdown measures.

To receive the booster, children must wait until five months after receiving both doses of the primary vaccine.