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COVID-19: Vaccine Boosters, Youth Hospitalizations

The Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will meet Sept. 17 to review Pfizer-BioNTech’s application for a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for people ages 16 and older. If the VRBPAC votes to authorize, FDA will decide whether to authorize the booster, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will convene a meeting to vote on whether to recommend the vaccine.

Moderna on Sept. 1 submitted data to FDA for evaluation of a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine. Notably, the Moderna booster uses 50 micrograms of molecular ribonucleic acid, compared with the 100 micrograms in the initial two-dose vaccine course. Clinical trial data show antibody response waned six months after the second dose.

CDC Studies Highlight COVID-19 Trends among Children, Adolescents

Two studies in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report show an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations among children and adolescents ages 17 and younger.

One study shows an increase in COVID-19 cases, emergency department (ED) visits, and hospital admissions from June to August 2021 among people age 17 and under. Notably, ED visits and hospital admissions during a two-week period in August 2021 were higher in states with lower population vaccination coverage and lower in states with higher vaccination coverage.

A second study shows weekly COVID-19 hospitalization rates among children and adolescents increased nearly fivefold from late June to mid-August 2021, coinciding with increased circulation of the highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant. Hospitalization rates were 10 times higher among unvaccinated than among fully vaccinated adolescents.

These studies underscore the importance of vaccination in preventing serious illness from COVID-19.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a senior communications associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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