CDC recommends COVID-19 booster vaccinations for children ages 12 – 17
January 11, 2022
Texas MedClinic to offer booster vaccinations for ages 12-17 starting Wednesday
The CDC expanded the eligibility of booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and now recommends children age 12 – 17 years receive a booster dose 5 months after completing their two-shot series of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for children in this age group.
“The bottom line: Everyone who is vaccinated and is 12 years of age or older should receive a vaccine booster 5 months after their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or two months after the one dose of the J&J vaccine,” said Texas Med Clinic’s Chief Operating Officer and practicing physician Dr. David Gude.
Texas MedClinic offers the Pfizer vaccine, including boosters for adults and children ages 12-17.
The Omicron variant has spread rapidly throughout the United States and Texas. This week, the city of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District raised the COVID-19 risk level to severe due to the surge in COVID-19 infections caused by the Omicron variant. Similarly, Austin Public Health has returned to stage 5 of their COVID-19 safety guidelines after their community transmission rate skyrocketed.
“COVID-19 boosters provide strong protection against the Omicron and other SARS-CoV-2 variants,” said Gude. “Administering a booster dose to adolescents 12 – 17 years of age will prevent infection and reduce the severity of disease should they become infected.”
Given the highly contagious nature of the Omicron virus, the CDC recommends everyone take the following precautions in addition to receiving vaccinations and boosters if eligible:
- Wear a well-fitted mask – Everyone age 2 years and older who is unvaccinated should wear a well-fitted mask when inside public locations. Those who are fully vaccinated should wear a well-fitted mask indoors if living in an area with a high transmission rate. A well-fitted mask snugly covers the nose, mouth and chin with no gaps. A cloth mask with multiple layers and a nose wire or similar apparatus that keeps droplets from escaping or entering the top of the mask is best. Masks do not need to be worn outdoors in most cases unless you are attending a crowded outdoor event and in close contact with others who may be unvaccinated.
- Stay 6 feet apart – keep 6 feet (or two arm lengths) between yourself and others, particularly if they are sick or if you are at higher risk of getting sick.
- Avoid crowds and areas with poor ventilation – crowded locations like restaurants, bars, and movie theatres put you at increased risk of contracting COVID-19. Avoid indoor spaces with poor ventilation and, when possible, open windows to improve air circulation.
- Wash your hands frequently – Wash your hands often, using soap and water and scrubbing for a minimum of 20 seconds before rinsing. Be sure to wash after being out in public, coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Wash your hands before preparing food or touching your face. If you cannot wash your hands, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- When in doubt, get tested – If you are feeling unwell, get tested to determine whether you are infected with COVID-19. Consider testing before attending indoor gatherings to prevent unintentional spread. If you have symptoms and are unable to find a test, assume you have COVID-19 and begin isolation while you search for a test. If you are not able to find a test, complete the recommended 5-day isolation.
- Monitor your health – Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of COVID-19. Watch for fever, cough, or breathing difficulty and take your temperature if you develop symptoms. Get tested and visit your primary health physician. By monitoring your symptoms, you can keep those around you (family, friends, coworkers) well by limiting their exposure to you.
Through vaccinations, testing, masking, and isolating when ill, we can stop the spread and ensure we and the ones we love stay well.