As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge, booster shots have now become a method to help protect people who are vaccinated from the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sept. 27. Those who have been fully vaccinated could be eligible according to a statement from the CDC.
The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that those who are in certain populations get a booster shot. The CDC recommends those who are sixty-five years old and up that are in “long term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.”
It is also recommended that people between the ages of 50 and 64 who have underlying illnesses should receive a booster shot and people between the ages of 18 and 64 who are at a higher risk of “COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting should receive a booster shot as well.”
The CDC says that the booster shot will help strengthen the protection against the Delta variant which has become the dominant strain in the United States.
As booster shots become a way to protect those already fully vaccinated, children under the age of 12 are still not eligible to receive a vaccine.
Earlier in September the FDA released a statement explaining the ongoing process for having a safe vaccine for younger children. The FDA stated that “manufacturers have reported that the necessary clinical trials involving children as participants are currently underway.” Some manufacturers are enrolling and administering doses to participants and the continuation of the process is expected to have a two-month follow-up period.
Continuing this process, manufacturers need to analyze the data to ensure its safety to then move forward to make sure it meets regulatory standards.
Making vaccines for children differs from making ones for adults and the way the clinical trials are conducted differs in-part as well because of the differences in dosage and formulation strength.
The FDA urges anyone who interacts with younger children to get “vaccinated, wear masks, and follow other recommended precautions so that we can protect those who cannot yet protect themselves through vaccination.”