CDC expanding COVID booster eligibility for 5- to 11-year-olds

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday it was expanding eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots to children ages 5 to 11. Boosters were previously authorized for everyone ages 12 and up.

Last Friday, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup followed suit, paving the way for California children in the 5-to-11 age group to begin receiving boosters.

“Children 5 through 11 should receive a booster dose at least five months after their primary series,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

A joint statement issued Friday by California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly and Director of the California Department of Public Health Dr. Tomás J. Aragón echoed Walensky’s statement.

“COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to prevent hospitalization and serious illness, and data has shown that California’s vaccination efforts have saved tens of thousands of lives,” they said. “The Omicron surge and its infectious subvariants have shown that children are also vulnerable, with their case rates and hospitalizations increasing across California.

“We support the recommendations of our federal and state partners to authorize and recommend the use of a booster dose for children ages 5 and up. It’s important to get kids vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible.”

“Additionally,” they said, “over the past two months we have seen steady increases in cases, and more recently an increase in hospitalizations in California. While older Americans have the highest coverage of any age group of first booster doses, most older Americans received their last dose (either their primary series or their first booster dose) many months ago, leaving many who are vulnerable without the protection they may need to prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Whether it is your first booster, or your second, if you haven’t had a vaccine dose since the beginning of December 2021 and you are eligible, now is the time to get one.”

Yolo County’s “Door Vax” in-home vaccination program will provide any dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to anyone ages 5 and up.

Call to schedule an in-home visit Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For English, call 530-902-3230; for Spanish, call 530-220-6481; and for Russian, call 530-908-0721.

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