Illinois Department of Public Health Adopts CDC Recommendations for Pfizer Boosters At 5 Months

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is adopting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation to shorten the interval from 6 months to 5 months for when people who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine can get a booster dose.  Only people who received two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine during their primary series can now receive an mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) booster dose 5 months after their second shot.  The booster interval remains the same for those who received the Moderna vaccine (6 months) or the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine for their primary series.

Additionally, CDC is recommending that moderately or severely immunocompromised children aged 5-11 years receive a third dose of vaccine 28 days after their second dose.  At this time, only Pfizer-BioNTech is authorized for children.  Parents should talk with their pediatrician or health care provider about a potential third dose.

“Early evidence suggests that people who have received COVID -19 booster doses are better protected against severe illness from the new Omicron variant,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “Shortening the time interval between the initial Pfizer series and boosters, as well as recommending a third dose for immunocompromised children will afford better protection to more people.”

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration also authorized booster doses for those aged 12-15 years and the CDC will discuss adoption of change this later this week.  IDPH is working to update guidance documents based on the CDC’s recommendations.

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