Focus Your Health 3 The Centers for Disease Con- trol and Prevention (CDC) has authorized booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 17. CDC recom- mends that all children and teens 12 years and older get a booster shot five months after their first set of COVID-19 vaccines. You may be thinking, “Does my child really need another shot?” Here are five facts from the CDC. Your child may need more protection. The Omicron variant is causing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Many of these cases occur in children. The vaccine your child received is still working to protect them. But experts are seeing that this protection fades over tim T e h . is means your child’s immunity against COVID-19 may not be as strong as before. COVID-19 boosters should help improve protection against the virus. The booster can also reduce their chances of getting seriously ill. Booster shots are safe. The COVID-19 booster is the same Pfizer vaccine your child has What to know already received. The expected side effects are also the same. The most common side effects include: ● Pain at the injection site ● Headache ● Feeling tired ● F S e id ve e r effects are a sign that your child’s body is increasing its protection against the virus. These side effects are usually mild and go away in a few days. Severe reactions are rare. Some kids don’t experi- ence side effects at all. Booster shots can keep your family safe. If you have children younger than 12 years old, they won’t be able to get the COVID-19 booster at this time—but getting the booster can help protect your entire home. Booster shots can prevent kids from missing school and other activities. There’s no cost for booster shots. You won’t have to pay anything to get your child a COVID-19 booster. Consider going back to the place where your child received their last Pfizer vaccine dose. You can also ask your doctor or local pharmacy about where to find one. COVID-19 boosters and kids To find out more, visit hpsj.com/decide.