JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now saying immunocompromised people may need a fourth COVID-19 shot.
But the CDC has only updated its guidelines to say people who are immunocompromised may get a fourth shot — not that they should.
Regardless, according to UF Health Jacksonville’s Dr. Chirag Patel, only 2 percent of the population falls under that category, and that those people should speak with their doctors first.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 any day now.
The White House says that if — and more likely when — the FDA approves the vaccine for younger children, doses will immediately start to go out to pediatricians and doctors around the country in preparation for the 28 million children who will become eligible.
While children are much less likely to get severely sick from COVID-19, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said: “CDC’s data presented at yesterday’s advisory committee show all children ages 5-11, COVID-19 was one of the top 10 causes of death over the last year.”
At Wednesday’s White House COVID-19 Response Team meeting, Walensky said that since the start of the pandemic, more than 8,300 children ages 5 through 11 have been hospitalized. And, if you look at all children under 18, 745 died of COVID-19. For perspective, the American Academy of Pediatrics says the chances of children dying of COVID-19 are still extremely small. Less than half a percent who get COVID-19 die from it.
The medical community is urging parents to consider getting the shot.
“Children are vaccinated from birth, so the idea of getting a vaccine for this age group shouldn’t be foreign for most parents out there,” Patel said.
Patel says for parents hesitant to get the vaccine, a FDA advisory panel would not have recommended it if it wasn’t safe.
“Let’s be clear about something: Studies have shown these are not going to cause these false rumor side effects that you hear online. They’re not going to cause the infertility issues. They’re not going to stunt your child’s growth and development,” Patel said.
Despite this vote of confidence from the FDA advisory panel, some parents are still hesitant to get their child vaccinated. In the end, it’s their decision.