When Pfizer updated its timeline for vaccines for children 11 and under — it was as if you could hear a sigh of collective relief from parents worldwide — there is hope on the horizon. Pfizer reported that its COVID-19 vaccine has a positive antibody response in children without serious safety issues. Pfizer will apply for use in children 5 to 11 years old by the end of the month. However, how long it will take for the FDA to decide to approve it will depend on how long they take to review the data provided by Pfizer. The company plans to apply for use in children 6 months old to 5 years old by the end of November. The thought of finally feeling safe enough to fly with our almost 1-year-old to meet her family in Brazil in the coming year is almost too much for me to take it in.
The U.S. is also set to start to require COVID-19 vaccines for most non-U.S. citizen travelers — no shot, no travel. The news is expected to take effect in November. The borders for most Brazilian travelers — the ones who aren’t dual citizens, green card holders, among other few exceptions, have been close for the past 19 months but it appears that the Biden administration plans on lifting travel restrictions on fully vaccinated international travelers in November.
Appointments for the third dose of Pfizer booster shots will be available starting this week at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Here is a list of those eligible for the booster shot:
- People 65 years of age and older
- People 18 years and older with an underlying medical condition or who work or live in a high-risk setting
Additionally, an eligible person needs to have received their second dose of Pfizer at least six months ago, which at this point would be the end of March.
Underlying medical conditions are cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, dementia or other neurological conditions, diabetes, Down syndrome, heart conditions, HIV infection, immunocompromised state, liver disease, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, cigarette smokers, organ or blood stem cell transplant, stroke, and substance use disorder.
High-risk work settings are first responders, education staff, food and agriculture, manufacturing, corrections, U.S. Postal Service, public transit, and grocery stores. Healthcare facilities, schools, correctional facilities, long-term care facilities, and homeless shelters are high-risk living situations. The booster shot will be administered through the hospital’s drive-through testing vaccine tent, which is located at the front of the hospital near the main entrance.
To schedule an appointment, visit mvhospital.org, click the yellow banner at the top of the page, look for booster shots and click on the booster shots link. This link will take you to a scheduling site. The scheduling site can also be accessed directly by going to covidvaccine.massgeneralbrigham.org. Those who need assistance can also call 508-684-4500.
Booster shots are not yet available for those who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.