OLYMPIA, WA — Washington’s top health leaders have officially given the okay for medical care providers to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot to children ages 5-11.
The FDA amended the emergency authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Tuesday, authorizing the booster dose for kids between 5-11. Now, following two additional reviews by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, the booster shots are cleared for use in younger Washingtonians.
“The CDC’s announcement is welcome news as we continue to do everything we can to keep Washingtonians of all ages safe,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah. “This pandemic is not over and we must continue to use the tools at our disposal. This includes masking, therapeutics, vaccinations and – of course – boosters. Keeping yourselves and those around you safe is of utmost importance, and this recommendation is another step in that direction.”
The booster’s approval comes as Washington is starting to see the signs of yet another wave of new COVID-19 infections. This week, the state Department of Health began reporting a daily case rate of more than 200 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. For contrast, at the low point following the record-breaking omicron wave, the daily case rate hovered around 40.
The DOH’s updated booster guidance says that kids 5-11 should receive a booster dose five months after finishing their first rounds of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Immunocompromised children should get their boosters sooner, three months after the primary series. Anyone 12 and older can receive either a Pfizer or Moderna booster five months after finishing their primary vaccine series, or two months after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. A second booster shot has also been approved for Washingtonians 50 and older, or for anyone 12 and older who is moderately to severely immunocompromised.
As of the DOH’s latest update, nearly 14 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Washington, and 68.1 percent of Washingtonians have completed their primary series.
Source: Bellevue Patch