| Credit: Photo by Jesse Paul on Unsplash

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control supports the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that children as young as 12 receive a Pfizer COVID-19 booster at least five months after a second vaccine dose.

DHEC used the term “maximally vaccinated” to refer to those who had received their initial vaccine, plus a booster, equivalent to the CDC phrase “up to date” with COVID-19 vaccinations.

“It’s critical that we keep children as protected as possible against COVID, especially the delta and omicron variants,” DHEC director Edward Simmer said in a press release. “This new booster shot recommendation ensures our children are maximally vaccinated against this deadly disease, and boosters are the best opportunity we have for keeping our children safe and healthy in the classroom setting, where we know they thrive. I urge parents and guardians to have their children, 12 and older, receive their Pfizer booster as soon as possible.”

Previously, Pfizer booster shots were recommended to those 16 and up. Currently, the CDC and DHEC recommend:

  • People age 12 and up who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine get a booster shot five months after completing their initial vaccination series
  • People age 18 and up who received the Moderna vaccine get a booster shot six months after completing their initial vaccination series
  • People age 18 and up who received a single dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine should get a booster shot two months after the first shot

In the throes of the omicron variant, South Carolina recorded its highest day of cases yet on Thursday, with nearly 9,500 confirmed cases, according to DHEC.