The booster shots can be administered five months after the second Pfizer dose, Norton's Dr. Kristina Bryant said.
Bryant reported 24 kids are hospitalized at Norton with COVID-19 but not all of those are there only because of the virus.
Of the 24, eight are sick with COVID-19, two are hospitalized because of complications from the virus and the rest are hospitalized for other issues but are COVID-positive.
"We're not seeing an increase in kids who are hospitalized because of COVID, at least not yet," Bryant said. "It's still very important to protect kids from getting infected because we know that even if the initial disease is mild, kids are at risk for multisystem inflammatory syndrome; they're at risk for long COVID."
She added: "This is an illness that we want to prevent, if we can."
Parents can go to https://nortonchildrens.com/ to schedule a booster appointment.
"As a pediatric infectious disease specialist, I'm excited that we now have the opportunity to offer kids boosters. We know that immunity wanes after a number of months," Bryant said. "So, five months seems to be the right interval at this point in time to get a boost."
State data shows the 5-11, 12-15 and 16-17 age groups are all less than 50% vaccinated against COVID-19. Bryant said while boosters are important, "we can't forget about" children and teens who aren't vaccinated at all.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced its support for those ages 12 to 17 to get boosters on Wednesday.
“It is critical that we protect our children and teens from COVID-19 infection and the complications of severe disease," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. "This booster dose will provide optimized protection against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. I encourage all parents to keep their children up to date with CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.”
Reach health reporter Sarah Ladd at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @ladd_sarah.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Norton offers COVID boosters to ages 12 and up after federal approval