The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed three recommendations made this week by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine guidance. The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health encourages all providers to review the following Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine guidance updates to ensure the best possible protection for all West Virginians.

Additional Primary Dose for Certain Immunocompromised Children
Children aged 5-11 years who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should receive an additional primary dose vaccine 28 days after their second shot. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for children aged 5-11 years. Parents/guardians are encouraged to discuss their child’s medical condition with their child’s pediatrician/primary care provider, and whether getting an additional primary shot is appropriate for them.

Children are considered to be moderately or severely immunocompromised if they have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress the immune response

Pfizer Booster Interval Shortened to 5 Months
The time interval for when individuals can receive a booster shot has been shortened from 6 months to 5 months for people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. This means that individuals can now receive an mRNA booster shot 5 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. The booster interval recommendation for people who received the J&J/Janssen vaccine (2 months) or the Moderna vaccine (6 months), has not changed.

Pfizer Booster Shot Eligibility Expanded to 12 to 15-year-olds
CDC expanded the eligibility of the booster doses to those 12 to 15 years old. Data shows that COVID-19
boosters help broaden and strengthen protection against Omicron and other SARS-CoV-2 variants. CDC now recommends all adolescents aged 12-17 years should receive a COVID-19 booster 5 months after completing their primary series of Pfizer vaccine.