On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of Pfizer’s COVID booster shot for kids 12 to 15 years old.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel is expected to meet and discuss authorization later this week, as the omicron variant continues its spread and as students nationwide return to the classroom from holiday break.
And one local expert said full authorization from regulators would be a good decision.
Dr. Claire Boogaard, medical director of the COVID vaccine program at Children’s National Hospital, said once kids get a booster, they will be most protected from symptomatic infection and be “very well” protected against hospitalization and death.
“We’ve seen hospitalizations double,” she told WTOP’s John Domen and Jenny Glick, “just because the rates in our community are doubling, and we haven’t even reached the peak yet.”
Pfizer’s vaccine was authorized back in May, and current CDC guidance recommends a booster six months after the second dose.
“By the nature of boosting our immune system, we give time for the initial two-shot series to work,” Boogaard explained, “and then that immunity slightly wanes over time.”
Boogaard assured wary parents that Pfizer’s vaccine is indeed safe, and said the booster shot has little to no side effects.
“If you can vaccinate, it’s the safest way to get back to normal routine and keep yourself out of the hospital,” she said.
Hear Glick and Domen’s chat with Boogaard below.
- Sign up for WTOP alerts
- Latest coronavirus test results in DC, Maryland and Virginia
- Latest vaccination numbers in DC, Maryland and Virginia