#childsafety | What you need to know after FDA approval

Federal regulators have approved booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the youngest group of Americans yet, setting the stage for rollouts to Bay Area children ages 5 to 11 as soon as this weekend.

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday granted emergency use authorization of Pfizer/BioNTech’s booster for the new age group.

But before parents can take their kids to the pediatrician or local pharmacy for the shot, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must formally recommend the booster for the new age group.

The agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is expected to discuss the shot and issue its recommendation at a meeting Thursday.

A regional advisory body, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, and California state health officials will also weigh in — with their advice typically following CDC recommendations.

Although boosters for children 5 to 11 are likely to get the green light, it might take a couple of days for pharmacies and other health care providers to update their guidelines and expand their online sign-ups and walk-ins to this new group. Check online or call ahead to determine availability (see below for options in the Bay Area).

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