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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

COVID: Fauci says kids and teens are less likely to need boosters

Originally published: Nov 25, 9:25 pm ET.

Jacqueline Howard, CNN

(CNN) – Now that the United States has rolled out Covid-19 booster shots to all fully vaccinated adults, some parents are wondering if their vaccinated teens can get a booster dose of the vaccine, and when they can, and researchers are working on it. reply soon.

The Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus vaccine booster is currently recommended for all adults who completed the initial two-dose series of these vaccinations at least six months ago, and Johnson & Johnson’s booster vaccine is recommended for adults. who took one picture at least two months ago.

About six months ago – in May – the FDA authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for teens 12 to 15 years old, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the vaccine for this age group. … Shortly thereafter, gunshots were fired.

“We do not yet know if the children will need boosters. But we are actively working on a study to answer that question, ”said Dr. Flor Muñoz, pediatric infectious disease specialist at Texas Children’s Hospital, one of the sites where Pfizer children’s vaccines are being tested.

Muñoz wrote in a CNN text message on Thursday that “part of the study plan is to monitor children at various points in time after receiving two doses of the vaccine.”

Pediatric research is ongoing and “data should be available next year,” added Muñoz.

Teens may need boosters at some point, but “it is unlikely that they will, because your healthy, robust teens have a much better and stronger immune response than me as an older person. I swallow when I say elderly, but it’s true, “said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. John Berman told CNN on Wednesday

Coronavirus vaccines help the body develop protection or immunity against the coronavirus, which causes Covid-19. This immunity can weaken over time, but the booster dose of the vaccine helps restore this immunity.

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For adults, Fauci strongly recommends that all individuals over the age of 18 who have been fully vaccinated according to the original schedule should be re-vaccinated due to weakened immunity.

When it comes to immunity in adolescents, “it may be that it takes them a lot longer before they start to weaken,” Fauci said. “They have very strong immune systems. So I won’t be surprised that they will have protection that will last much longer than these six months. ”

While there have been several recent studies supporting the decreased immunity seen in fully vaccinated adults, there is little evidence of immunity in vaccinated adolescents over time. Having this data – in particular, weighing the safety and benefits of booster packs for this age group – can be helpful when considering whether teens might need booster doses at all.

“We don’t have enough teen-specific data yet to recommend boosters for all teens,” Dr. Saju Matthew, an Atlanta-based primary care physician and public health specialist, told CNN on Thursday.

“At this point, I’m unlikely to personally recommend booster vaccinations for my teens,” Matthew said as data is lacking — coupled with the fact that children are at a lower risk of severe Covid-19 than adults. and Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus mRNA vaccines carry a small risk of heart disease in young people.

“However, I have adolescents with underlying medical conditions,” added Matthew.

“So if a 17-year-old has severe asthma, maybe cystic fibrosis, or especially some underlying pulmonary disease, I would definitely recommend booster vaccination,” he said. “But I’m not comfortable giving universal, broad guidelines for all adolescents at this stage until we have enough data.”

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