By County News Center
San Diego, CA–Pending approval from the Western States committee, booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine may soon be available for San Diego children ages 5 through 11, the County Health and Human Services Agency said.
The COVID-19 Pfizer boosters should be given five months after receiving the final dose of the primary vaccine series.
“Some parents have been anxiously waiting to give their children extra protection against COVID-19 and the shots may be finally approved,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “COVID-19 boosters for everyone who is eligible are easy to get because we have plenty of vaccines available in the region.”
While COVID-19 symptoms tend to be less severe in children, the Omicron variants have been making more San Diego children sick, with some requiring hospitalization and others developing multisystem inflammatory syndrome or MIS-C. From November 27, 2021, to May 7, 2022, 90% of the pediatric hospitalizations for the syndrome occurred in not fully vaccinated children.
Since the pandemic began, there have been 98 MIS-C cases in San Diego County. Fifty-three percent of MIS-C cases have been reported in children ages 5 to 11 and the majority (60%) have been Hispanic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “MIS-C is a rare, but serious, postinfectious hyperinflammatory condition occurring about 2 to 6 weeks after infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”
Symptoms of MIS-C include fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, skin rash, inflammation, and multiorgan dysfunction. In severe cases, children can experience hypotension (low blood pressure) and shock. Approximately 60-80% of the early cases of MIS-C patients required intensive care admission.
“MIS-C can often be so severe that children require life-saving interventions. Parents should contact their doctor immediately if their child develops any of these symptoms,” Wooten said. “The best thing parents can do is get all the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for themselves and their children.”
Vaccine supplies remain plentiful, both for those seeking initial doses and those eligible for boosters. People can get vaccinated or a booster through their medical provider, a retail pharmacy, or a site operated by the County. Additional booster eligibility details are at coronavirus-sd.com.