CDC allows Pfizer COVID booster after 5 months, encourages extra dose for some children

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their recommendations for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, shortening the time before people are eligible for a booster shot, and recommending an additional dose for some immunocompromised children. 

Prior to Tuesday, the CDC recommended a booster shot six months after the initial Pfizer vaccine series. The CDC has now shortened that timeframe to just five months. The interval for those who received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines (six and two months, respectively) remains the same.

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In addition to the updated booster guidance, the CDC also announced Tuesday that they're recommending a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine for "moderately or severely" immunocompromised children aged 5-11, which the organization says is consistent with prior guidance for similarly compromised adults. That third dose is recommended 28 days after the second shot.

"As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to update our recommendations to ensure the best possible protection for the American people," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement Tuesday. "Following the FDA’s authorizations, today’s recommendations ensure people are able to get a boost of protection in the face of Omicron and increasing cases across the country, and ensure that the most vulnerable children can get an additional dose to optimize protection against COVID-19."

RELATED: FDA expands Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster for ages 12 to 15

On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine booster for 12- to 15-year-olds. The Pfizer vaccine remains the only FDA-authorized shot approved for those under 18.

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