State medical association backs boosters for kids ages 12-15

Hani Barghouthi
The Detroit News

The Michigan State Medical Society announced its support for a Pfizer booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 12-15 amid a record-breaking surge in infections and hospitalizations. 

The society, which represents 15,000 doctors and medical students in the state, on Friday cited a return to classrooms among the reasons for its recommendation, saying boosters provided the "best way to keep our children and teens protected and safe."

Its recommendation follows the Food and Drug Administration's expansion on Monday of Pfizer booster shots to teenagers in that age group and endorsements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association. 

Kree Bessant, left, 8, of Detroit is given her vaccine by nurse Frenchy Savage as she wears a superhero mask and cape at the Detroit Health Department Immunization Center in Detroit in December. Booster eligibility for children is expanding.

“With students now back in the classroom and the Omicron variant continuing to surge, the extra dose of defense a booster provides is the best way to keep our children and teens protected and safe," said Dr. Pino Colone, the society's president.

"The evidence is clear: being vaccinated and boosted is the best way to stay protected from the harshest and most dangerous effects of COVID-19. With hospitalizations of children infected with COVID rising across the country, there’s no question getting our children boosted is the best way to ensure our families and loved ones remain safe and healthy.”

Michigan's top health officials have referred to COVID-19 in the state as "critical." The state set a new record Friday for the highest daily average of new infections, with 40,692 cases recorded over two days. 

Also on Friday, a record number of children, 110, were hospitalized, according to the state health department, surpassing the previous records of 107 set on Wednesday and 96 on Monday.

Hospitalizations nationwide are skyrocketing for children who are too young to be vaccinated as well, the CDC announced Friday.