Today, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) updated its guidance on vaccine eligibility to include COVID-19 boosters for children ages 5 to 11.
The revised guidance states eligible children may only receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine under an expanded Emergency Use Authorization announced earlier this week by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An eligible child should receive their booster at least five months after receiving their primary series of vaccinations.
According to the CDC:
COVID-19 cases in children can result in hospitalizations, deaths, MIS-C (inflammatory syndromes) and long-term complications, such as “long COVID,” in which symptoms can linger for months. The spread of the Delta variant resulted in a surge of COVID-19 cases in children throughout the summer. During a 6-week period in late June to mid-August, COVID-19 hospitalizations among children and adolescents increased fivefold. Vaccination, along with other preventative measures, can protect children from COVID-19 using the safe and effective vaccines already recommended for use in adolescents and adults in the United States. Similar to what was seen in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11 years. In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were mild, self-limiting, and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children. The most common side effect was a sore arm.
Families seeking COVID-19 booster vaccinations can find a provider here.