Health Department: Children 5 to 11 years old now eligible for COVID-19 booster

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 24, 2022

From the Rowan County Health Department

As of Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends children ages 5 to 11 years old receive a COVID-19 booster five months after the date of their most recent Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine dose.

“Summer brings vacations, play dates and family gatherings, and it’s important for everyone to stay up to date on their vaccines,” North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kody H. Kinsley said. “Children ages 5 to 11 can now have the extra protection of a booster dose, which significantly increases protection against serious illness, hospitalization, death and long-term complications from COVID-19.” 

The Food and Drug Administration’s authorization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that children ages 5 to 11 get boosted comes as COVID-19 cases are on the rise again across North Carolina.

Longterm COVID-19 symptoms can include multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, which can cause inflammation in different parts of the body, as well as coughing, body aches, shortness of breath, headaches, brain fog, difficulty sleeping and more. It may also cause lasting damage to the heart, kidneys or other organs. 

“Children are vulnerable to the virus and long-term complications just like everyone else,” said NCDHHS State Health Director and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson. “Cases that start with mild symptoms can progress quickly, and even mild cases can have symptoms that last for several weeks or months.”

During the recent omicron surge, those who were boosted were seven times less likely to be hospitalized and 21 times less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated.

“Prevention is the best treatment to protect against COVID-19,” Kinsley said. “Make sure you and your entire family are up to date on your vaccines, including boosters when eligible.”

Rowan County Public Health will begin offering the Pfizer booster as early as this week. To make an appointment for your child, call 704-216-8777 and choose Option No. 3. You may also want to visit vaccines.gov to identify other local partners that may be offering this service, as well.

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