EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — A CDC recommendation last week makes children ages 5 to 11 years old, eligible for a COVID booster shot. The question facing parents of this age group is, should their child get the booster for now or wait?
April McDermott is 8 years old and her mother showed up Thursday afternoon at PAK Pediatrics for a wellness visit. The appointment comes four months after the Hanover Township girl was diagnosed with COVID-19.
“I just felt like I had a tiny really, like a really tiny cold. I just felt sniffly and coughed a lot. That was it,” explained April McDermott, 8-years-old, Hanover Township.
Her mother credits her being vaccinated against the disease with preventing serious illness. But even though April is now eligible for a COVID booster, her mother has decided to delay it during summer vacation.
“I feel like with this, it’s probably going to be the same thing we do with the flu shot. You’re just going to have this with that. If Dr. (Jeff) Kile recommends that she has it before she goes back to school, she’ll get it,” stated Kristy McDermott, Mom, Hanover Township.
Data shows a COVID booster for adults provides optimal protection against COVID from causing hospitalization and even death. There’s just no study available to make that conclusion for kids ages 5 to 11. But on whether getting vaccinated at all is another story. Roughly 90 percent of COVID hospitalizations in this demographic are children who didn’t even get the first shot.
“And that could potentially leave these kids at risk for more significant side effects or consequences from contracting actually COVID,” said Alvaro Reymunde, MD, Pediatrician, PAK Pediatrics
Pediatrician Alvaro Reymunde, MD supports the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation of boosters for 5 to 11-year-olds.
“Cases of COVID are increasing. They are on the rise again, the ebb and flow,” said Dr. Reymunde.
The third dose for kids like April would substantially increase their antibodies. Now, it’s just a matter of timing.
While the booster for 5 to 11-year-olds was approved just last week, they became eligible to get their first COVID shot last October.
More than a quarter of all 5 to 11-year-olds in the U.S. have received at least one shot.