FDA Approves COVID Booster for Children Ages 5 to 11

Posted by on May 25, 2022 in Top Stories

The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States is currently averaging more than 100,000 cases per day. This is the first time since February 2022 that the daily average has risen above 100,000. Right now, two-thirds of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. And on May 17, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a booster shot for children ages five to eleven. 

Who is Eligible? 

Up until May 17, 2022, only adults and teenagers ages twelve and up were eligible to receive a vaccine booster shot. Now children ages five to eleven will be able to receive one, too—if they received their second shot at least five months prior. The approved booster contains the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is the only vaccine authorized for children in this age group. Just like with the vaccine, five- to eleven-year-olds receive a smaller dose than teenagers and adults do. Only a third of children in the five to eleven age group are fully vaccinated. According to the FDA, the booster provides added protection for at least five months. 

The Effects of the Booster 

According to the FDA, a booster raises antibody levels significantly. That means a third shot provides strengthened immunity and added protection against the coronavirus. In the United States, clinical trials involving thousands of children revealed no serious safety concerns. Possible side effects of the booster could include soreness at the injection site, headaches, muscle aches, and low-grade fevers. These symptoms should go away on their own in a day or two. It is also safe and recommended for children to receive a booster shot even if they have already been infected with COVID-19 in the past. 

Dig Deeper Visit the Federal Drug Administration website to learn more about the history of the agency and its function.