Four Seasons Pediatrics

Flash header display failed. Please install Flash and come back.

Should my child get a Booster dose?

The most common question we are being asked – “Should I get a booster dose for my 12+ year old?  We previously discussed the benefits of vaccination in our past newsletter.  (see previous newsletter section of our website).   There is significant evidence that vaccinating your child has benefits exceeding the risks from COVID disease.  24 million children from ages 5 to 17 have received a dose of the COVID vaccine.  The most significant benefit is a 91% reduction in getting MIS-C.   MIS-C occurs in children 2-6 weeks after COVID, and we have yet to identify risk factors for the 6500 children who have had MIS-C or the 55 who have died and been reported to the CDC by Jan 3rd.  Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.  This is the most compelling reason to vaccinate, if you have not already done so.  

What about booster doses?

Dr. Paul Offit is the Director of the Vaccine Information Center and an Attending Pediatrician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) and his area of expertise is vaccines.  We frequently refer parents to this website for evidence based information about vaccines.  Please click this link to view a video from Dr. Offit, then return here for our commentary.

Dr. Miller Commentary:

Our pediatricians (Dr. Miller, Dr. Elmer, Dr. Lange, Dr. Apruzzese, Dr. Ungeheuer and Dr. O’Connor) all reviewed Dr. Offit’s Commentary and feel he offers an appropriate perspective – using his expertise and experience.  So what should you do?  Our pediatricians feel it is an important option to consider.  Those most likely to benefit include the following:

  • Those at high risk of COVID infection including those with an elevated BMI, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Immunosuppressive Conditions and those with other forms of Chronic Disease – including but not limited to Asthma, Heart Disease, and Neurologic Disease. 
  • Those with close exposure to other high risk individuals.  This may include loved ones in and outside the home, teachers and neighbors to name a few.  As you may be aware, the vaccine and booster provides excellent protection from serious disease in high risk individuals, and as Dr. Offit points out, will give short term protection (about 3 months) from mild disease for about 3 months.  For individual children and their parents, this may not be enough to consider a booster dose.  Today the MMWR published a study on over 222,000 encounters to Urgent Cares, Emergency Rooms and Hospitals.  This included patients 18 years and older and includes data for Delta and Omnicron.  Receipt of a third vaccine dose was highly effective at preventing COVID-19–associated emergency department and urgent care encounters (94% and 82%, respectively) and preventing COVID-19–associated hospitalizations (94% and 90%, respectively).  While this data did not include pediatrics, it clarifies the benefits of boosting the immune response in adults.  Further, for high risk parents and grandparents who had their boosters more than 3 months ago, a booster dose for ages 12 and up provides a window of short term protection – especially now during the Omicron Surge.   It also provides protection if you are around those not eligible to get the vaccine (immunosuppressed, young infants and children under 5).  

We know many of you have hesitated in vaccinating your children.  We know you want to make the best decision and you have every right to make your own choice.  We also want you to know that the Pediatricians of Four Seasons Pediatrics whole heartedly and with the same passion – want to help you make the best decision.  For those who have waited, we want you to know that we feel the best decision is to vaccinate at this point.  We feel the vaccine is safe and effective and we make the same recommendations to our loved ones as we do to the families of our practice.   

Well Visits and Testing Next Week

We have restarted Well Visits as we work back to safe full staffing.  We have received a limited supply of Rapid NAAT Molecular tests and will deploy them in a limited fashion while we await supplies to increase over the coming weeks.  At this time, we are unable to offer rapid testing for those without symptoms and those with symptoms who are in quarantine.

The Staff and Providers of Four Seasons Pediatrics

« Go Back

Print Print Read Past Newsletters