Pediatricians urge COVID booster shots for kids 5 to 11

With COVID infections still surging, pediatricians are urging families to get booster shots for kids five to 11. Doctors are saying get kids boosted even if they've had a COVID infection.

The Walgreens on Irving Street in San Francisco's Sunset District has become an afterschool hot spot for families looking for boosters. Just this week, kids ages five to 11 are eligible for a booster shot five months after their second vaccine dose. Families in San Francisco say they're working out the logistics of getting their kids this latest dose of vaccine. "We just heard that the boosters are out for the five and older, so we're trying to work on the timing on that one," said Marissa Lee. "Like you said, it's based on availability and where we can get it."

Pediatrician Dr. Winchell Quock said the booster eligibility comes just as COVID is surging across the country and in San Francisco, where infection rates are double the national average. The doctor said now is the time to get kids boosted if they've already been vaccinated. "Get them if they're available as soon as you can," said Dr. Quock. "That means five months after your second vaccine."

With the higher COVID rate in San Francisco, Dr. Quock said many families have reported that their children had contracted COVID. He said the virus is still mutating, and even if kids have been vaccinated and or have caught a breakthrough infection, those kids should still get their boosters or risk getting sick again. "A lot of people who said they were sick last month or two months ago, and so they were a lot more relaxed about either getting the boosters and even wearing a mask anymore, have gotten sick," said Dr. Quock. "So, it's still going around."

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KTVU was also in communication with an emergency room doctor who said the focus should still be on making sure those 65 years and older should get boosted since kids tend to have mild illness if they contract COVID. But Dr. Quock said with so many intergenerational households it's important for kids and older adults to get vaccinated and boosted.