CDC signs off on boosters for 5-11-year-olds

The CDC's independent vaccine committee voted in favor of boosters for children ages 5-11 (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNN)The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on boosters for 5- to 11-year-olds following the independent vaccine advisers recommendation for an additional dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine following a primary series.

The CDC's vaccine advisers voted 11-1, with 1 abstention Thursday to support recommending a booster dose, which the US Food and Drug Administration authorized earlier this week.
The recommendation they voted on was: "A single Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine booster dose is recommended for persons ages 5-11 years at least 5 months after the primary series, under the FDA's Emergency Use Authorization."
    The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices endorsed the booster for children at least five months after they received their two-dose series. This would be a third dose for healthy children and a fourth dose for children who are immunocompromised.
      The committee voted for the booster after hearing details about Pfizer's application to the FDA to expand access to the boosters for this age group. Waning antibody levels have been seen in children who have received a primary vaccination series, and booster doses achieved antibody levels higher than what was seen after the primary series.
      The company said data from its clinical trials showed it raised Omicron-fighting antibodies by 36 times in this age group. The trial that included 4,500 children ages 5 through 11 saw no new safety issues, according to the company.
      "Overall, the benefits of Covid vaccines continue to outweigh the risks as we continue to see, regardless of what age group is highlighted, receipt of the Covid vaccine primary series continues to be critically important for the prevention of severe Covid-19 morbidity and mortality and overall Covid-19 vaccine booster doses have been shown to increase protection against all outcomes in those 12 and over," said Dr. Sara Oliver, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and the lead for the Covid-19 vaccines ACIP Work Group. "It's likely that children ages 5 through 11 would benefit from a Covid-19 vaccine booster dose."