To ensure we are equipping our readers with all the information they need, we will continue to report on all travel, safety, and COVID-related news that could impact a Disney Parks visit.
When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, shots from various makers have been approved for usage in the United States, and booster shots have also been approved for those that fall into select age groups. But now there’s been an important update on the booster situation for those who are a bit younger.
According to FOX 35 News, the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine booster shot to be utilized for kids ages 12-15.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, must sign off on these vaccine boosters before they can actually be administered, so that’s something to keep in mind.
U.S. Health Authorities have already approved the use of COVID-19 boosters for those who are 16 and older, so this would expand that usage for those who are a bit younger. The FDA has now said that those ages 12 and older can become eligible for a booster as early as 5 months after their last COVID-19 dose (rather than the 6 months used for those who are older).
According to FOX 35 News, while vaccines offer strong protection against serious illness from COVID-19, “health authorities are urging everyone who’s eligible to get a booster dose for their best chance at avoiding milder breakthrough infections from the highly contagious omicron mutant.”
FOX 35 News also shares that kids tend to “suffer less serious illness” from COVID-19 when compared to adults, but child hospitalizations have been rising as part of the Omicron wave. According to FOX 35 News, most of these hospitalizations are for children who are unvaccinated.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, previously told The Associated Press that we are “facing a variant that has the potential to require more immunity to be protected.” That is why FOX 35 shares that boosters are important, as the protection from the vaccine wanes over time.
For those under the age of 18, the Pfizer vaccine is the only available COVID-19 vaccine option in the U.S. Pfizer vaccine shots have been approved for use for kids as young as 5 years old. Pfizer is studying the use of its vaccine for those younger than 5 years old. The Pfizer shot, however, as well as a similar COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna, has been “linked to a rare side effect called myocarditis.”
But the FDA has noted that the benefits of the COVID-19 booster outweigh the potential risk of the “rare side effect,” especially due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
In terms of kids who have a severely weakened immune system, the FDA has said that these children will be allowed to get the COVID-19 booster shot 28 days after their second dose (shortening that time frame for the booster).
Meanwhile, we’ve been watching for updates with the COVID-19 Omicron variant and its spread around the world. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, new COVID-19 cases per day have “more than doubled over the past two weeks.”
COVID-19 deaths have also climbed in the U.S. over the past 2 weeks. Bob Bednarczyk, a professor of global health and epidemiology at Emory University, has indicated that CDC data shows those who are unvaccinated are hospitalized at much higher rates than those who have been vaccinated.
Keep in mind that this is FDA authorization for the vaccine. Again, the CDC must sign off on its usage before the shots can be administered to those in that age group. We’ll continue to be on the lookout for any updates on that.
For more COVID-19 news, check out the links below:
- Are travel bans the “wrong” way to fight the Omicron COVID-19 variant?
- Global daily tally of new COVID-19 cases passes 1 million
- Could vaccines be required to fly in the United States soon?