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CDC and FDA expand eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots to ages 5-11

Photo depicting a child receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.
Photo depicting a child receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.(MGN Online / SELF Magazine / CC BY 2.0)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 3:27 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (LDH) - Following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency use authorization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expanding the eligibility of the COVID-19 booster doses to children ages 5 and older. CDC now recommends children ages 5-11 should receive a booster shot five months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech series.

Additionally, CDC is strengthening its recommendation for a second booster at least four months after the first booster for everyone ages 50 and older and ages 12 and older who are immunocompromised.

Since the pandemic began, more than 4.8 million children ages 5-11 have been diagnosed with COVID and over 180 have died nationwide. In Louisiana, 180,141 children ages 5-11 have been diagnosed with COVID and 21 children under 18 have died. As of May 19, total COVID cases in Louisiana have increased nearly 568% over the past month.

“We welcome these clear, evidence-based recommendations from the CDC: everyone 5 and up should be vaccinated and boosted. Everyone 50 and up and everyone 12 and up with immunosuppressive conditions should go further and receive a second booster. This is all the more important as we, unfortunately, see COVID-19 cases rising again throughout Louisiana. As families prepare for summer activities and the upcoming school year, now is the time to make sure your child is up to date on their vaccinations,” said State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter.

CDC data continue to show the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted, if eligible, to protect against severe outcomes of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death. During the recent Omicron surge, boosted individuals were 7 times less likely to be hospitalized and 21 times less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated.

LDH has reviewed the latest CDC guidance and alerted all vaccine providers in the state that this guidance is effective immediately.

For questions regarding COVID-19 testing, therapeutics, vaccines, or other related issues, call the COVID-19 Support Hotline at 855-453-0774. For a list of locations near you, visit covid.gov or text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish.

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