Currently, a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus vaccines are recommended for all adults who completed the original two-dose series of those shots at least six months ago, and a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is recommended for adults who completed a single shot at least two months ago.
“We don’t know yet if children will need boosters. But we are actively working on the study to answer that question,” said Dr. Flor Munoz, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Texas Children’s Hospital, one of the sites in Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine trials.
Munoz wrote in a text message to CNN on Thursday that “it is part of the study design to follow children at various time points after receiving two doses of vaccine.”
The pediatric studies are underway and “data should be available next year,” Munoz added.
For adults, Fauci strongly encourages anyone 18 and older who has been fully vaccinated with the original regimen to get a booster shot because of the waning immunity.
When it comes to immunity in adolescents, “it may be that they will go a much longer period of time before they start to wane,” Fauci said. “They have a very robust immune system. So I would not be surprised that they will have a protection that will go way out beyond that six months.”
“We don’t have enough data yet specifically on the adolescent population to recommend boosters for all adolescents,” Dr. Saju Mathew, an Atlanta-based primary care physician and public health specialist, told CNN on Thursday.
“However, I do have some adolescents with underlying medical conditions,” Mathew added.
“So, if a 17-year -old has severe asthma, maybe cystic fibrosis, or some kind of underlying pulmonary condition especially, I would hands-down recommend a booster shot,” he said. “But I’m not comfortable giving a universal, broad recommendation for all adolescents at this point, until we have enough data.”