N.C. & S.C. Health Officials Support CDC Recommendation Of Pfizer Booster Shots For Children 12 to 15

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Both North and South Carolina health officials have come out in support of the CDC’s recommendation to have children 12 to 15-years-old receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster at least five months after they finish their primary vaccine series.

Previously, officials say Pfizer booster shots were recommended for those 16-year-old and up.

“It’s critical that we keep children as protected as possible against COVID, especially the delta and omicron variants,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “This new booster shot recommendation ensures our children are maximally vaccinated against this deadly disease, and boosters are the best opportunity we have for keeping our children safe and healthy in the classroom setting, where we know they thrive. I urge parents and guardians to have their children, 12 and older, receive their Pfizer booster as soon as possible.”

Health officials say recent studies show that after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus may decrease over time, especially as new variants arise such as the now predominant Omicron variant.

Data from several clinical trials shows that a booster shot increased the immune response in participants who finished their primary series five months earlier, according to a news release.

Officials say by getting the booster, which will increase immune response, people should have improved protection against COVID-19 and its variants.

“The new recommendations by the CDC reinforce the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters — and the urgency of getting vaccinated and boosted to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death,” said Kody H. Kinsley, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Current COVID-19 booster recommendations are:

  • People ages 12-years-old and up who received the Pfizer-BioNTech should get a booster shot five months after completing the initial vaccination series.
  • People ages 18-year-old and up who received the Moderna vaccine should get a booster shot six months after completing the initial vaccination series.
  • People ages 18-years-old and up who received a single dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine should get a booster shot two months after the first shot.