CDC recommends Pfizer booster shot for children 5 to 11

The CDC's recommendation for the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot comes as cases increase.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended that children ages 5 to 11 get a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shot as cases continue to climb in parts of the country. 

CDC director Rochelle Walensky endorsed the idea while encouraging unvaccinated parents of children in that age group to also get the shot. 

"Vaccination with a primary series among this age group has lagged behind other age groups leaving them vulnerable to serious illness," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in a statement. "With over 18 million doses administered in this age group, we know that these vaccines are safe, and we must continue to increase the number of children who are protected."

"We know that these vaccines are safe, and we must continue to increase the number of children who are protected," she said.

Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer’s kid-sized booster, to be offered at least five months after the youngsters’ last shot.

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Pfizer and its partner BioNTech currently make the only COVID-19 vaccine available for children of any age in the U.S. Those ages 5 to 11 receive a dose that’s one-third the amount given to everyone 12 and older.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.