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ADPH endorses new recommendations for COVID-19 vaccinations for children

COVID-19 boosters now authorized for ages 12-15 with dosing interval lowered, and an additional primary dose recommended for certain immunocompromised children

ALABAMA, USA — The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has endorsed new recommendations for COVID-19 vaccinations.

The CDC states that the updates came about after a thorough and ongoing review of the available safety and efficacy data by the Food and Drug Administration because of surging COVID-19 cases in adults and children. Known and potential benefits of additional doses were determined to outweigh any potential risks of vaccine.

One of the updates refers to the authorization of the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as a single booster dose in individuals aged 12 to 15. Previously, the booster dose of the vaccine was authorized for adolescents 16 years of age and older.

For adults, the update involves lowering the authorized dosing interval of a booster dose to at least five months after completion of a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series. This authorization includes people receiving a two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna primary series. The booster dose after the Johnson and Johnson/Janssen vaccine remains at two months. Both the Moderna and Johnson &Johnson/Janssen vaccines are only authorized in those 18 years of age and older.

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In addition, an update has been endorsed that essentially authorizes a third primary series dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine administered at least 28 days following the two-dose regimen of this vaccine in individuals 5 through 11 years of age who are determined to be moderately to severely immunocompromisedPreviously, the vaccine was authorized only for those 12 years of age and older with an immunocompromising condition. No changes were made to the previously authorized use of the vaccine for those 12 years of age and older with immunocompromise.

No updates were made for the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine, although the CDC reports that a continuous review of the data is ongoing. The mRNA vaccine product continues to be preferred for the primary series and the booster dose.  

Studies show that after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection decreases over time and may also be decreased due to changes in circulating variants. Pediatric COVID-19 vaccines are available at some pediatric offices, local health departments and pharmacies. Go to alabamapublichealth.gov to learn more about vaccines for children and teens, eligibility by age, and to vaccines.gov find clinic information.

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