CDC strengthens booster recommendations

The CDC reinforced its COVID-19 booster recommendations and expanded eligibility to everyone 5 and older May 19.

The update comes two days after the FDA authorized Pfizer's booster for kids ages 5-11. The CDC now recommends children in this age group receive a booster five months after initial vaccination. 

The agency also strengthened its recommendation that people 50 and older — along with those 12 and older who are immunocompromised — should receive a second booster dose at least four months after their first.  

"Over the past month we have seen steady increases in cases, with a steep and substantial increase in hospitalizations for older Americans," the CDC said. "While older Americans have the highest coverage of any age group of first booster doses, most older Americans received their last dose (either their primary series or their first booster dose) many months ago, leaving many who are vulnerable without the protection they may need to prevent severe disease, hospitalization and death."

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