The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has updated its vaccine guidance for children 5 to 11 years of age to recommend boosters for vulnerable kids.
In its latest statement issued on Tuesday, NACI said “children 5 to 11 years of age who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should be offered a three dose primary series of the PfizerBioNTech Comirnaty vaccine (10 mcg), using an interval of 4 to 8 weeks between each dose”.
“Those who have previously received two doses of the PfizerBioNTech Comirnaty vaccine (10 mcg), should be offered a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine (10 mcg) 4 to 8 weeks after the second dose,” the advisory body added.
While making its recommendations for vaccinating the 5 to 11 age group, NACI stated that although children continue to remain at low risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes, “the number experiencing severe disease or requiring hospitalization is increasing due to the large number of them becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2”.
The Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine (10 mcg) is the only COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in children 5 to 11 years of age at this time. The pediatric formulation is 10 mcg compared to the 30 mcg formulation authorized for adolescents and adults 12 years of age and older.
NACI said clinical trial data showed the Pfizer pediatric vaccine “has a good safety profile and produces a good immune response similar to the response seen in individuals 16 to 25 years of age who receive the adolescent/adult formulation of the vaccine (30 mcg dose)”.
NACI continues to recommend a complete series with the Pfizer pediatric vaccine be offered to children 5 to 11 years of age who do not have contraindications to the
vaccine, with a dosing interval of at least 8 weeks between the first and second doses.
However, it is essential that children and their caregivers continue to be supported and respected in their decisions regarding COVID-19 vaccination, advised NACI.