State recommends COVID booster shots for kids ages 5-11

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PHOTOGRAPHER:

ALBANY — State health officials are recommending that eligible children ages 5-11 receive COVID vaccine booster shots.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week authorized the boosters for fully vaccinated children in that age group and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices updated guidance in favor of the practice.

Infection rates have risen steadily in New York through the spring of 2022, the state Department of Health noted in a news release Monday. 

While the COVID vaccines don’t prevent infections, they have been shown to decrease the likelihood of contracting the virus and strongly decrease the chances of developing serious symptoms from it.

So the DOH is recommending that most children ages 5-11 get a Pfizer-BioNTech booster five months after their initial two-dose series of vaccine. Those with severely compromised immune systems should get the booster after only three months, the state said.

COVID poses the greatest threat to older adults, who account for a disproportionate share of the 1 million Americans who’ve died of the disease during the pandemic.

However, 4.8 million children ages 5-11 have been confirmed infected nationwide, 15,000 have been hospitalized and 180 are known to have died of COVID, the CDC reports.

COVID vaccine is free and available at more than 2,000 locations in New York.

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