Children as young as 12 are beginning to get their COVID-19 vaccine booster shots after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave final authorization and Hartford Healthcare gave its first boosters to this age group on Thursday.
“Its real main benefit is to keep people safe and keep them out of the hospital,” Dr. Ulysses Wu, chief epidemiologist at Hartford HealthCare, said.
Charles Muro, 14 of West Hartford, and Sara Omar, 14, of Simsbury, were two of the first to get the boosters.
Muro said that over the last nearly two years, online school has been difficult and it’s hard on a teenager not to see friends.
Omar said for her, it’s important to be safer around friends and family and being safe for them.
The hospitalizations of people with COVID-19 have been increasing and Wu said the boosters are a step toward progress and he thinks they will contribute with a decrease in hospitalizations.
“By vaccinating a whole other age group, which is going to be five million, that represents another whole gap we can close and if we can vaccinate them, we can help prevent transmission,” Wu said.
Over the past several weeks, there’s been a lot of discussion about schools amid a surge in cases in the state.
Dr. Wu said classroom transmission of COVID is fairly low and it’s outside of the classroom that medical experts worry about.
He added that boosters are important for everybody and provide additional protection.