European Union Agency advises Pfizer vaccine in children under 12 2:07
Now that the United States has rolled out covid-19 booster shots for all fully vaccinated adults, some parents have been wondering if and when their vaccinated teens might need a booster dose.
Researchers are working to have an answer soon.
Currently, a booster dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus vaccines is recommended for all adults who completed the original two-dose series of those vaccines at least six months ago.
Additionally, a booster dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine is recommended for adults who completed a single injection at least two months ago.
It was about six months ago, in May, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine for teens ages 12-15.
And the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the vaccine for this age group.
Doses began to be applied shortly after.
Studies in progress
"We don't yet know if children will need boosters. But we are actively working on studies to answer that question," said Dr. Flor Munoz, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Texas Children's Hospital, one of the pediatric vaccine trial sites in the United States. Pfizer.
What we know so far about the new coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa
Munoz wrote in a text message to CNN on Thursday that "it is part of the study design to follow the children at various times after receiving two doses of the vaccine."
Pediatric studies are ongoing and "the data should be available next year," Muñoz added.
Teens may need boosters at some point, but "they are less likely to do so. Because their healthy, robust teens have a much better and stronger immune response than I am an older person. I swallow hard when I say older person, but it's the truth, "Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN's John Berman on Wednesday.
Booster doses to build immunity
Coronavirus vaccines help the body develop protection or immunity against the coronavirus that causes covid-19.
That immunity can wane over time.
But a booster dose of the vaccine helps restore that immunity.
For adults, Fauci strongly recommends anyone over 18 years of age who has been fully vaccinated with the original regimen to receive a booster shot due to lowered immunity.
WHO urges countries to consider the benefits of vaccinating children against COVID-19, but prioritize global vaccine sharing first
When it comes to immunity in teens, "it may take a much longer period of time before it starts to weaken," Fauci said.
"They have a very robust immune system. So I wouldn't be surprised if they have protection that will extend well beyond those six months."
CDC Approved Booster Dose Keys 1:28
Data on adolescent immunity is lacking
While there have been several recent studies documenting the decline in immunity seen in fully vaccinated adults, there hasn't been much data on immunity in vaccinated teens over time.
Having that data, specifically weighing the safety and benefits of boosters for this age group, can be helpful when considering whether teens might need booster doses.
"We still don't have enough data specifically on the adolescent population to recommend boosters for all teens," Atlanta-based primary care physician and public health specialist Dr. Saju Mathew told CNN Thursday.
"At this point, I am not likely to personally recommend that my adolescent population receive a booster shot," Mathew said.
This, since there is such a lack of data, along with how children have a lower risk of severe covid-19 than adults, and the mRNA vaccines against the coronavirus, Pfizer and Moderna, carry a small risk of cardiac inflammation in children. youths.
"However, I have some teenagers with underlying medical conditions," Mathew added.
Covid-19 cases in children increased 32% from two weeks ago, alerts the American Academy of Pediatrics
"So if a 17-year-old has severe asthma, maybe cystic fibrosis or some kind of underlying lung condition, especially, I would definitely recommend a booster shot," he said.
"But I am not comfortable giving a broad, universal recommendation for all adolescents at this time, until we have enough data."