Jen Christensen –

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet Thursday to provide updated information on the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11, CDC guidance To discuss booster shots for this age group and the framework for that booster dose.

The committee will vote in the afternoon on whether or not this age group should be considered for refresher training.

The committee, made up of immunization experts, meets regularly to discuss the science related to immunization and provide guidance on administering immunizations.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration extended eligibility for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11. The children could receive the booster at least five months after completing their first series of vaccinations.

Pfizer had applied for this emergency use permit at the end of April. The company said data from its clinical trials showed it increased Omicron-fighting antibodies by 36-fold in this age group. The study, which included 4,500 children aged 5 to 11, found no new safety issues, the company said.

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been tough on kids. Studies by the New York State Department of Health and the CDC found that the effectiveness of two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine for children ages 5 to 12 decreased significantly during the omicron surge, falling from 68% to about 12% against infection . Two doses of the vaccine appeared to keep children out of the hospital.

Although not at the same level as during the Omicron wave, COVID-19 cases among children have increased. The number of new COVID-19 cases in children in the United States rose nearly 76% last week from two weeks earlier, the American Academy of Pediatrics said Monday.

According to the CDC’s latest report, 1,536 children have died from COVID-19 in the United States

The AAP says nearly 13.2 million children in the US have tested positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic, with more than 5.3 million adding those cases this year. Those numbers are likely undercounting as testing has fallen across much of the country.

Public health officials have urged all Americans to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including any recommended booster doses, to best protect themselves and those around them. However, of those eligible, children are the least vaccinated age group in the United States

Among parents aged 5 to 11, around four in 10 say their child has been vaccinated, while 12% say they either only get their child vaccinated when required for school and 32% say that their child does not get vaccinated at all, according to a survey published by the Kaiser Family Foundation in early May.


What questions do you have about Omicron?

With the emergence of a new worrying COVID-19 variant called Omicron, wants to hear questions from Canadians.

Tell us what you want to know about the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

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