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The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

Health officials OK Pfizer booster for kids ages 12-15

Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine
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Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday gave the final approval for kids 12 to 15 years old to receive a Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot. The move comes as a record number of children in the U.S. are hospitalized for COVID.

Vice President of the Montana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Dr. Lauren Wilson says it’s more important than ever for kids to get boosted as the Omicron variant leads to rising case numbers in Montana.

“National data shows us that pediatric hospitalizations are now at their highest point that they’ve ever been. They're higher than even during the Delta wave. We haven’t seen that really hit Montana yet, but there’s no reason to think that it would behave differently here.”

Montana’s vaccination rates for children lag behind national averages.

The booster shot has already been approved for kids 16 to 17. The CDC recommends that kids 12 and older receive their booster five months after their second shot.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.