The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday, May 19 it is recommending COVID-19 booster shots for ages 5-11 at least five months after their initial vaccine series. The recommendation came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized booster shots for the age group earlier this week. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) supports the recommendation and is encouraging parents across the state get their children in the age range vaccinated and boosted according to the recommended timelines.
“This is great news and will serve as a major step in our ongoing efforts to keep South Carolinians safe from severe cases of COVID-19,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “As we approach the summer months, we know our kids will be participating in various activities and spending more time around other people. That makes this added layer of protection even more important for our children and their family members and others they come in contact with.”
Here are more details from the CDC recommendation:
- CDC is reaffirming is recommendation for second boosters for individuals ages 50 and up, as well immunocompromised individuals who are 12 and up
- Most older Americans received their primary shot or first booster several months ago, leaving them vulnerable as cases begin to increase
- Nationwide, more than 15,000 children ages 5-11 have been hospitalized due to COVID-19, and more than 180 have died from the virus
“A major part of approaching COVID-19 as an endemic virus is taking the proper steps to ensure we don’t experience heightened levels in our communities,” Simmer added. “That includes an updated vaccination and booster as recommended. We need our entire state on board if we’re going to stop severe cases from damaging our communities.”
An initial COVID-19 vaccination series and updated boosters if eligible remain the No. 1 way to prevent severe cases of the virus. For more information on vaccinations and other COVID-19 preventative measures, please visit DHEC’s endemic page and talk with your child’s primary care provider.