The state of Illinois says that it will adopt new CDC guidance on the administration of Pfizer COVID vaccine booster shots, shortening the amount of time between the second dose of the treatment and the follow-up injection.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, residents who received two doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine will now be eligible to receive a booster shot five months after the date of their second shot. Those residents will be able to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna booster, according to officials.
The CDC is also recommending that children between the ages of 5 and 11 that are moderately or severely immunocompromised should get a third dose of the COVID vaccine 28 days after their second dose.
Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is available for children under the age of 12 under an emergency use authorization from the FDA.
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“Early evidence suggests that people who have received COVID-19 booster doses are better protected against severe illness from the new omicron variant,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of IDPH, said in a statement. “Shortening the time interval between the initial Pfizer series and boosters, as well as recommending a third dose for immunocompromised children, will afford better protection to more people.”
Prior to the new guidance, residents were required to wait at least six months between their second Pfizer shot and their booster shot, but under the new CDC guidance, that time period has been shortened to five months.
Individuals who received the Moderna vaccine series, or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, will remain on the same timetable for a booster, officials said.
On Monday, the FDA also authorized booster doses for children between the ages of 12 and 15. The CDC has not yet issued guidance on the new authorization, and IDPH says it will work to fit its guidance with the new policies.