Pfizer Boosters For 5- To 11-Year-Olds Win FDA Authorization
The Pfizer/BioNTech covid vaccine is the only one approved for this age group, and a typical two-dose regime hasn't conferred much protection to these younger recipients. Separately, the World Health Organization agreed a second booster may benefit vulnerable people.
FDA Clears COVID Booster Shot For Healthy Kids Ages 5 To 11
U.S. regulators on Tuesday authorized a COVID-19 booster shot for healthy 5- to 11-year-olds, hoping an extra vaccine dose will enhance their protection as infections once again creep upward. Everyone 12 and older already was supposed to get one booster dose for the best protection against the newest coronavirus variants -- and some people, including those 50 and older, can choose a second booster. (Neergaard, 5/17)
The Washington Post:
FDA Authorizes A Coronavirus Vaccine Booster Shot For Children As Young As 5
Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are scheduled to meet Thursday and are expected to recommend the booster, which was shown in laboratory tests to strengthen children’s immune defenses — particularly against the omicron variant. The shot from Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, is the only vaccine available to children in this age group, and two shots have provided disappointing protection to children in this age group in real-world studies. Protection against infections and hospitalizations waned quickly in children. (Johnson and McGinley, 5/17)
More about booster shots —
WHO: 2nd COVID Booster For Most Vulnerable Offers Benefits
An expert group convened by the World Health Organization says there may be some benefit in giving a second booster dose of coronavirus vaccine to the most vulnerable people amid the continuing global spread of omicron and its subvariants. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the United Nations health agency said there was “a growing body of evidence regarding the value of an additional booster dose” for groups including health workers, people aged over 60 and those with weak immune systems. (5/17)
How Long Is COVID Booster Shot Effective?
For people with healthy immune systems, the booster is still effective against hospitalization several months later, said Dr. Dean Blumberg, UC Davis Children’s Hospital chief of pediatric infectious disease. The booster only starts to fade in effectiveness against mild breakthrough cases four or five months after the shot. (Adatia, 5/17)
Boston Researchers Find COVID Hospital Count Makes Vaccines Seem Less Effective
Widely used methods for counting US COVID-19 hospitalizations can make vaccines appear less effective than they actually are, according to a group of Boston-based researchers. The researchers say their work raises questions about how the US should approach future booster-shot campaigns and how the country measures the severity of the pandemic. It may also have implications for billions of dollars in bonus payments that have gone to hospitals caring for COVID patients covered under Medicare. The researchers looked at a group of more than 8,000 patients who had been admitted to Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals since September 2021 and who had a positive COVID test – the same criteria that most states and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention use to tally daily COVID hospitalizations. (Armstrong, 5/16)