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COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for children coming to Maryland soon

MH child covid vaccination mask
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
A student receives a bandage on the arm after receiving a children's dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Children between the ages of five and 11 are now eligible to get the COVID-19 booster shot, however they aren’t available quite yet in Maryland. Baltimore County Deputy Health Official Della Leister said the state does not yet have the vaccine for children, but hopes to get vials and start administering them in the next couple days. Maryland will offer the shots for free at all of its public health clinics.

The booster protects against both the original variant of the disease and the Omicron version. Last month, both the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration approved the booster for children ages 12 and older.

Dr. Andrea Berry, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of Maryland Children's Hospital, says it’s imperative children get the shot.

“These shots helped to prevent kids from going to the hospital and being very ill, but also help keep them in school,” Berry said.

Children can get long COVID or multi-system inflammatory syndrome, which can cause issues in major organs, she said.

Children should also get their flu shots, she said.

“We haven't really been hit very hard by flu in the past couple of years because of things being closed down a lot, so I would expect there to be more flu this year,” she said.

Scott is the Health Reporter for WYPR.
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