COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Booster Shots and Approval for Children


By Wajiha Rizvi, Junior Editor

As of November 19th, 2021, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ expanded recommendations for booster shots to include all adults ages 18 years and older who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least six months after their second dose.

The case for getting a booster shot is very simple:

Taken together, the C.D.C. studies show that although the vaccines remain highly effective against hospitalizations and deaths, the bulwark they provide against infection with the virus has weakened in the past few months.

The finding accords with early data from seven states, gathered by The New York Times, suggesting a rise in breakthrough infections and a smaller increase in hospitalizations among the vaccinated as the Delta variant spread in July. The decline in effectiveness against infection may result from waning vaccine immunity, a lapse in precautions like wearing masks, or the rise of the highly contagious Delta variant, experts said — or a combination of all three. The new studies indicate overall that vaccines have effectiveness of roughly 55 percent against all infections, 80 percent against symptomatic infection, and 90 percent or higher against hospitalization, noted Ellie Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University.

Several politicians, such as President Biden have heavily endorsed the booster vaccines since they first rolled out in September. Despite this, much like when the coronavirus vaccine first opened to the public earlier this year, much of the U.S. population refuses to even get their first dose of the vaccine, mainly questioning the vaccine’s effectiveness.

Further major advancement in vaccine availability is the approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11, thereby approving the vaccine for all people ages 5 and above. The CDC strongly urges vaccination of young children, As of mid-October 2021, children ages 5 through 11 years have experienced more than 8,300 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and nearly 100 deaths from COVID-19. In fact, COVID-19 ranks as one of the top 10 causes of death for children aged 5 through 11 years.

It is fairly simple to schedule both a vaccine appointment for your child, as well as an appointment for a booster shot. Pharmacies such as CVS offer both services, as well as the website, which helps search for the nearest COVID-19 vaccine appointment of any kind.

When asked for his opinions on the booster shot, former Wayne Hills history teacher Mr. Terry shared a couple of thoughts. “I decided to get the initial vaccine and the booster because – based on recommendations from leading epidemiologists and physicians, as well as my own physician – it was the best way for me to protect myself and others from COVID-19.”  A strong supporter of the vaccine, Terry further says that “I think the more people talk about their experiences, the more we can dispel remaining doubts among the public and encourage more people to get vaccinated.”