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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded emergency authorization to allow the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster dose for children ages 5 to 11, the agency.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also recommended children in this age group receive a booster dose, according to a statement from the agency.
“Vaccination with a primary series among this age group has lagged behind other age groups leaving them vulnerable to serious illness,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “With over 18 million doses administered in this age group, we know that these vaccines are safe, and we must continue to increase the number of children who are protected.”
Here’s what to know about the booster, including how effective it is in children and when your child, and where to get it in Charlotte.
WHERE CAN MY CHILD GET THE BOOSTER SHOT IN CHARLOTTE?
The Mecklenburg County Health Department is now offering free boosters for kids ages 5-11, according to a news release from the department. Shots are available at both public health department locations, at 249 Billingsley Rd. and 2845 Beatties Ford Rd.
Select CVS Pharmacy locations will also begin offering the Pfizer booster shots, according to an emailed statement to The Charlotte Observer. Parents are encouraged to make an appointment at CVS.com or on the CVS Pharmacy app.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE BOOSTER IN CHILDREN?
Data from a clinical trial show the booster dose was 91% effective in children ages 5-11 without prior COVID-19 infections, according to Pfizer.
During the trial, the booster dose was “well tolerated, with a safety profile similar to the two-dose primary series,” Pfizer says.
According to the FDA, the most commonly reported side effects were:
- Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
- Muscle or joint pain
The booster dose should be administered at least five months after the second dose of the vaccine, according to Pfizer.