This article appeared in Leader Publications. Read more here.
The Van Buren/Cass District Health Department announced this week it will start offering booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for children between 5 to 11 years old. The booster dose should be administered at least five months after the 2nd dose in the two-dose series.
Pfizer-BioNTech is the only COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized for those ages 5-11 years old. COVID-19 booster doses may be given at the same time as other vaccines, including the flu vaccine. Symptoms may vary when children are infected with COVID-19, and unvaccinated children can still infect those around them, even if they are not showing symptoms. Getting children vaccinated helps keep communities safe.
Over the past month, COVID-19 cases have increased steadily in all age groups. Since the pandemic began, more than 4.8 million children ages 5 through 11 have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 15,000 have been hospitalized, and over 180 have died. As cases increase across the country, a booster dose will safely help restore and enhance protection against severe disease.
Children ages 5 through 11 years who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive a total of 4 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to stay up to date. The 4 doses include a primary series of 3 doses, plus 1 booster (4th dose), given on the schedule shown below.
Number of doses to complete primary series and timing:
2nd dose given 3 weeks (21 days) after 1st dose
3rd dose given at least 4 weeks (28 days) after 2nd dose
1st Booster given at least 3 months after 3rd dose
VBCDHD is offering COVID-19 vaccination clinics at both Lawrence and Dowagiac locations. Each location has a separate link to schedule an appointment. Appointments are required for persons under 18 years of age.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccine, booster doses, testing, and updated COVID-19 guidance, please visit vbcassdhd.org/covid-19/