DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that they’ve approved emergency usage of Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster in ages 12 to 15, which would do away with their previous approval of booster doses for children ages 16 and up.
“A two-dose of these COVID vaccines of the Moderna and the Pfizer has begun to wear off. They’re excellent vaccines they’re highly effective, but after six months the effectiveness, the protection begins to wean…begins to go down,” said Kettering Health patient safety officer Dr. Jeffrey Weinstein.
Dr. Weinstein also says the older people are, the quicker the effectiveness goes away. “Obviously boosters were approved initially for those over 65 and immunosuppressed. Then, they were opened up for all adults. This is just part of that process.”
According to health leaders, this booster dose would be the same strength as doses previously approved in the primary vaccine series. However, parent Dara Sorensen said she thinks the booster isn’t the right move for everyone.
“I think the boosters so soon after the first shot seems a little bit much personally. But, everybody’s different and every family is different. I’m still of the opinion that you should do what’s best for your family,” said Sorensen.
While Sorensen and her husband haven’t chosen to vaccinate their kids for now, she says vaccine pressures haven’t been easy to deal with. “Now it’s just more like if you don’t do this or you do this you’re a bad person. It shouldn’t be that way,” said Sorensen.
However, Dr. Weinstein is hoping to ease parents’ fears about vaccinating and boosting their children, assuring them that risks aren’t high. “Like with any vaccine there’s gonna be some pain in the arm. There’s gonna potentially be a little bit of fatigue, aches, or headache for a day or so. Most people find that the side effects after the third shot are not as bad as the second shot,” said Dr. Weinstein.
Although the FDA has given emergency approval for the COVID-19 booster in ages 12 to 15, the CDC must also give approval for the Pfizer doses to be released into the public. CDC leaders are expected to announce their decision sometime this week.