Some teens may have one soon, but younger ones might not have one at all – .

Some teens may have one soon, but younger ones might not have one at all – .

Dr Sean O’Leary, professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine who works with Children’s Hospital Colorado, said his pediatric colleagues are starting to hear more from parents, “especially for children. older people who were vaccinated several months ago. “

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that all adults receive a Covid-19 vaccine booster. Adults who have received the Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are eligible to receive a booster six months after their second injection. Those who have received the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a booster of any authorized vaccine two months after their first dose.

Last week, Pfizer asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to extend its authorization for emergency boosters to include children between the ages of 16 and 17. The agency will need to sign before younger teens are eligible for the recall.

But there is no demand for young children yet and no official timeline for when they might need to roll up their sleeves.

Most experts say it can take a while if young children are given reminders.

Will immunity decrease in children and adolescents?

In the fully vaccinated adult population, data from several studies showed that immunity worsened over time, and the booster helped restore it. It is still not clear whether young children will need another injection. Researchers are still collecting data and some answers should be available next year, the scientists said.

First, they will determine if the children are suffering from waning immunity and are starting to see an increase in breakthrough infections.

“Probably most importantly, are we seeing serious results in children who have already been vaccinated with two doses? Said O’Leary, who is also vice chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Infectious Disease Committee.

While adults have been eligible for Covid-19 vaccines since last year, younger ones started later. Authorization for emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine was not extended to children aged 12 to 15 until May 10. For children aged 5 to 11, it was October 29.

This means that research on children lags behind adults.

“Most people don’t talk about it yet because we don’t know how long children respond to the vaccine,” said Dr Claudia Hoyen, director of pediatric infection control at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. Cleveland.

Scientists cannot substitute research from adults for children because a child’s immune system is different. As a rule, children’s immune systems are stronger and they can be protected longer than an elderly person whose immune system is not as strong, for example.

“Children’s immunity can last longer and that would mean they might have a different schedule than adults, that’s if they need it at all,” Hoyen said. She thinks it’s possible. “Even children can catch a cold, which is another coronavirus, so they may need it. We really don’t know yet. “

In November, Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s John Berman that teens might need boosters at some point, but “they’re less likely to do it, because your healthy and strong teenagers have a much better and stronger immune response than I as an older person. I swallow when I say old person, but it’s the truth.

Would a booster dose be safe for children?

Second, scientists should also determine if a third dose would be safe for these younger age groups.

Answering children (and parents') questions about the Covid-19 vaccine for ages 5 to 11

“In fact, part of that will be informed as we learn more and more as more and more doses are given,” O’Leary said.

They will want to know, for example, if more cases of myocarditis – a kind of inflammation of the heart – arise as more children are vaccinated. “We know this rarely happens after vaccination and so it will play a role – is the vaccine with a third dose safe? “

For now, scientists are watching the youngest group to be vaccinated so far, the 5 to 11 year olds. Asked Tuesday about the safety of vaccines in young children, CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said the agency was reviewing the data for signs of a safety issue. .

“We have not received any signal, and we continue to monitor this closely,” she said during a White House briefing on Covid-19.

Should Kid’s Boosters Be A Priority?

In addition to issues of diminished efficacy and safety, vaccine manufacturers should also consider whether a booster provides sufficient benefit for this group.

“Is it worth assigning vaccines to this group of patients to ensure their safety, or are they safe enough, given that they are younger, given that they belong to a category low risk? Said Dr Claire Boogaard, medical director of the Covid-19 vaccine program at Children’s National in Washington, DC Children can get Covid, but compared to adults, they generally cope better and are much less likely to be hospitalized or die from Covid19.

“They don’t want to insist on a system that’s already under stress to vaccinate an additional 2.3 million people if they don’t need it,” Boogaard said.

One of the best ways to protect all children from Covid-19 – even without a booster – is to make sure as many people as possible are fully immunized, Boogaard said.

“It won’t just protect you,” said Boogaard, “the more people (who are fully vaccinated and boosted who are eligible), the less benefit this virus will have of replicating itself and causing something more dramatic. . ”


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