Local pediatrician weighs in on COVID booster shot approval for ages 5-11

Local pediatrician weighs in on COVID booster shot approval for ages 5-11
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 11:34 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -The Baker-Polito administration announced Friday morning that COVID-19 boosters are now available for children ages 5-11. The announcement came following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We spoke with the interim chief medical officer from Cooley Dickinson to hear her thoughts about this latest COVID-19 guidance.

“This vaccine, a booster is meant for children that completed the initial series of COVID vaccines which included two doses that were spaced three weeks apart,” said Dr. Sari Miettinen, interim chief medical officer of Cooley Dickinson & Pediatrician.

COVID-19 booster shots for children will be made available at hundreds of locations across the commonwealth. This comes following the booster shot getting a stamp of approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for children ages five to 11. The interim Chief Medical Officer at Cooley Dickinson told Western Mass News that parents should get their kids vaccinated against COVID-19.

“It is meant to boost your immune system to be able to prevent infection from COVID and or severe disease and hospitalization,” said Dr. Miettinen.

Kids can get the Pfizer booster shot at least five months after their second dose. Dr. Miettinen told us that it is important for children to get the booster even if they don’t have chronic diseases.

“Healthy children can also have complications from COVID, specially multi-system inflammatory syndrome and so we recommend vaccination in order to prevent complication as well,” explained Dr. Miettinen.

For those who had previous infection or already received the two-dose series, she said:

“So the way that a booster vaccine works is it boosts the antibodies that you already have in your system either from the initial vaccine series or previous illness and the current booster has been shown to increase those antibodies 20-fold,” said Dr. Miettinen.

She added that the COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective and she urges anyone eligible to get the vaccine to prevent the spread of COVID-19.