COVID updates: Parents waiting for CDC to greenlight Pfizer boosters for children 12-15

Kids 5-11 who are immunocompromised are now eligible for a second dose.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- COVID-19 boosters could play a big role in keeping kids in school as the omicron variant surge continues.

A CDC advisory panel will be discussing the extra dose on Wednesday for 12 to 15-year-olds. That would mean kids in this age group could start getting the third shot before the end of the week.

With cases rising, experts say the booster for kids comes at a critical time.

"We want our kids to be protected as best as possible and this is the best way to do it, especially for the kids vaccinated earlier on," explained Dr. Marci Drees, the chief infection prevention officer and hospital epidemiologist at ChristianaCare in Delaware.

She says the vaccine is safe for kids and points to the data. Eight million doses have been given to kids.

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Dr. Drees stressed the importance of getting the age group boosted with the Pfizer vaccine when the emergency use authorization is given.

"While two doses seem to be more effective in preventing more severe disease and hospitalization, that extra dose -- even though it's the same vaccine they got previously -- it will much better protect them against omicron or delta," Dr. Drees said.

That third dose could be greenlighted by the CDC on Wednesday, and some parents will be watching and waiting.
"My only concern is them getting COVID so, I have no concerns of the vaccine at all," said Catherine Haverkane from South Philly.

Other parents say this particular age group can be challenging, but getting them vaccinated and boosted is the right thing to do.

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"It was tough to get him vaccinated with the two shots, so we've been having discussions in regards to him getting the booster and how important it is," said Kim Turner from South Philly.

The CDC has taken other action on vaccines.

Kids 5-11 who are immunocompromised are now eligible for a second dose. In addition, anyone who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine is urged to get their booster after five months, rather than six.

If the CDC gives the green light, the Philadelphia Department of Health says any of its facilities offering the vaccine for kids will be ready to go the following day.

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