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On Friday, Jan. 7, the CDC approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds to receive as a booster. The FDA had approved the vaccine for booster use in this age group on Jan. 3, but the public still had to wait for the CDC to approve it before administration could occur.

COVID-19 boosters have been shown to “broaden and strengthen protection against Omicron and other SARS-CoV-2 variants,” according to a CDC press release.

“It is critical that we protect our children and teens from COVID-19 infection and the complications of severe disease. Today, I endorsed ACIP’s vote to expand eligibility and strengthen our recommendations for booster doses. We now recommend that all adolescents aged 12-17 years should receive a booster shot 5 months after their primary series. This booster dose will provide optimized protection against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. I encourage all parents to keep their children up to date with CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.”

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director

Booster Timelines

As the scientific community continues to learn about this novel virus and the ways we are combatting it, recommendations and protocols change. We don’t have the luxury of having decades’ worth of data to analyze as we do with other diseases; we are learning as we go with SARS-CoV-2.

One such development was for individuals who are immunocompromised: an additional primary dose. This is not known as a booster. The additional primary dose comes four weeks after the first two doses for those in need. As with everyone else in the eligible age groups, a booster is still recommended for these people as well.

With that, the vaccination/additional primary dose/booster guidelines set forth by the CDC are as follows:

Ages 5+
2 primary doses, 21 days apart
Additional primary dose, 28 days after second primary dose
(Ages 12+) Booster dose after 5 months

Ages 18+
2 primary doses, 28 days apart
Additional primary dose, 28 days after second primary dose
(Ages 18+) Booster dose after 5 months

Janssen/Johnson & Johnson:
Ages 18+
1 primary dose
(Ages 18+) Booster dose after 2 months

For people who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, whether they have or have not been previously vaccinated, reinfection possibility is low right away but a person’s immunity lessens as time goes on. In a summary from October 2021, the CDC reported that immunity levels were considered low after about 6 months.

For this reason, it is important for those who have had COVID-19 to stay current with vaccinations as recommended by the CDC.

The Racine County Eye and Kenosha Lens is committed to publishing the most current and accurate information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in our Coronavirus section. View both the Racine County COVID-19 Dashboard and Kenosha County COVID-19 Dashboard offering real-time (updated Monday – Friday) statistical reporting for Racine and Kenosha Counties.