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Last Updated on May 23, 2022 by BVN

S. E. Williams |

In a joint statement on Friday May 20, California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, and Director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, issued a joint statement supporting the CDC recommendation authorizing the use of a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 years at least 5 months after completing their primary series.

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

“COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to prevent hospitalization and serious illness, and data has shown that California’s vaccination efforts have saved tens of thousands of lives,” declared Ghaly and Aragón. 

(Left): State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás J. Aragón. (source: youtube.com); Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. (source: chcf.org)

Children are vulnerable to Omicron and other COVID-19 variants

Ghaly and Aragón concurred the Omicron surge and its infectious sub-variants have shown that children are also vulnerable, with their case rates and hospitalizations increasing across California. “We support the recommendations of our federal and state partners to authorize and recommend the use of a booster dose for children ages 5 and up. It’s important to get kids vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible.”

This statement referred to the recommendation by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP), and the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who all concurred in the use of a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11 at least 5 months after completing their primary series.

As COVID-19 increase seniors are also encouraged to get boosted 

Over the past two months California has seen a steady increases in cases, and more recently an increase in hospitalizations in the state. 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. 

Over the past two months California has seen a steady increases in cases, and more recently an increase in hospitalizations in the state. (source: covid-19.ca.gov)

“Whether it is your first booster, or your second, if you haven’t had a vaccine dose since the beginning of December 2021 and you are eligible, now is the time to get one,” stressed Ghaly and Aragón.

The CDPH recommends everyone over the age of 5 receive their primary series and booster dose. 

Vaccines can help protect children from MIS-C

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome or MIS-C in children is a rare health condition that varies by race and ethnicity. (source: cdc.gov)

Vaccines have proven safe and effective for children, and completion of the primary series and boosters remain the safest way to prevent serious illness including Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome or MIS-C in children is a rare health condition that can occur in children and teens under 21 years of age who were infected with COVID-19).  MIS-C, long COVID, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, including of the most vulnerable.

MIS-C in children varies by race and ethnicity. Compared with children in the general population, it was found to be more frequent among Hispanic (139%) and Black children (183%) and less frequent among white (64%) and Asian children (48%).

Parents uncertain of vaccinating their children are encouraged to speak with their child’s health care provider. Parents can find a vaccine for their child at myturn.ca.gov or by calling 1-833-422-4255. Follow this link to learn more vaccines available for all Californians aged 5 and older.

S.E. Williams

Stephanie Williams is executive editor of the IE Voice and Black Voice News. A longtime champion for civil rights and justice in all its forms, she is also an advocate for government transparency and committed to ferreting out and exposing government corruption. Stephanie has received awards for her investigative reporting and for her weekly column, Keeping it Real. Contact Stephanie with tips, comments. or concerns at myopinion@ievoice.com.