COVID 19

Rochester Regional Health doctor offers perspective on Pfizer COVID-19 booster for teens

ROCHESTER — The Centers for Disease Control voted Wednesday to approve the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster for children ages 12 to 15 years old.

Dr. Steven Schulz, a Rochester Regional Health pediatrician and medical director of Rochester Regional Health, said the omicron variant is the reason it’s important for children to get a booster. Omicron has been more invasive and contagious then the delta variant.

Schulz said it’s also known that the vaccine’s effectiveness wanes over time.

“Between both the Omicron variant which is now here and spreading like wildfire, and the fact the vaccines lose effectiveness over time, it’s really important anyone 12 and up get their booster dose of vaccine,” he said.

Schulz said booster doses are very common for vaccines. Doctors start giving children at 2 months old their three-, four- and five-dose series over the course of months to years.

The flu shot is an annual vaccine. Schulz said it’s currently unknown if the COVID vaccine will also need to be annual.

But getting that additional dose five to six months after the vaccine helps provide additional protection.

Schulz said vaccines are very important in helping reduce the risk of serious infections. They also help reduce infection in general and prevent spread to others.

“If we look at our hospitalizations through the region, we know that every step of care of severity you go from hospitalized to the ICU to the ICU on ventilator to death, there is a higher and higher percentage of unvaccinated individuals each step of the way,” he said.

Schulz said while they don’t know if COVID is more serious for children, they are seeing pediatric hospitalizations increase across the country.

Because more kids are being infected, more kids are being hospitalized, he said. As of last count, more than 700 children have died to COVID.

“The best way to ensure your child remains free from serious illness is to get them vaccinated, and if eligible, boosted,” Schulz said.

“Between both the Omicron variant which is now here and spreading like wildfire, and the fact the vaccines lose effectiveness over time, it’s really important anyone 12 and up get their booster dose of vaccine,” he said.

Source: https://www.thedailynewsonline.com/lifestyles/rochester-regional-health-doctor-offers-perspective-on-pfizer-covid-19-booster-for-teens/article_20c26980-e005-5fd0-b190-77d904ecf2f5.html

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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