SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As COVID cases increase throughout the country, on Tuesday the FDA authorized a COVID-19 booster for children 5 to 11 years old. This group would have to wait at least 5 months after getting vaccinated to get a booster.
Luz Pena: "Do you think it's necessary for this age group to get boosted?"
Dr. Cornfield: "I think necessary depends on whether or not you believe there is a risk and there is definitely a risk for children. We know that kids get sick with COVID. Some severely, but most not. I don't think it's prudent to play the odds."
Dr. David Cornfield, chief of pediatric pulmonary medicine at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford says the vaccines protection for children decreases after 5 months.
RELATED: Doctor explains why FDA delaying COVID vaccine authorization for kids under 5 is a good thing
It's been 7 months since a vaccine for this age group was authorized. Dr. Cornfield says a booster now is timely.
Luz Pena: "Do you recommend for children in this age group to get boosted now or should they wait for the next school year when they are going to be exposed to more kids?"
Dr. Cornfield: "That is an excellent question. Right now the best data that I have seen suggest that 30% of kids 5-11 throughout the United States have received both vaccines," said Dr. Cornfield and added, "for kids 5-11 I don't believe you should wait."
In San Francisco, The Mission Wellness Pharmacy is gearing up to offer boosters for children 5 to 11 years old.
VIDEO: Here's why some people still get COVID even after being vaccinated and double-boosted
Throughout the pandemic they've held vaccine clinics in over 20 Bay Area schools. Now they're planning to explain the importance of the booster.
"The schools invite us to come and sometimes we have zoom calls where parents can ask questions," said Maria Lopez, owner of Mission Wellness Pharmacy.
Pharmacist Maria Lopez said kids are coming in now to get vaccinated ahead of summer camps. She believes there will be an uptick for the booster as well.
"The fact that we have FDA authorization is really important. Particularly for people that wanted to see the data. I think it's really reassuring for many families," said Lopez.
RELATED: California bill allowing preteen vaccines without parental OK advances
According to CDC data, pediatric hospital admission rates have increased by 57% in the last month.
If your child gets COVID, Dr. Cornfield says is best to wait 90 days before getting vaccinated or boosted.
"Looking at the data that has been submitted to the FDA it seems like there are no additional safety concerns relative to these boosters," said Dr. Cornfield.
The CDC still needs to formally authorize the booster for this age group. That decision is likely to take place by Friday.
VACCINE TRACKER: How California is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine
Having trouble loading the tracker above? Click here to open it in a new window.
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Should vaccinated people get tested if exposed to COVID-19? CDC explains
- How to show proof of vaccination in San Francisco or anywhere in California
- Here's everything you need to know about COVID-19 booster shots
- Map shows every Bay Area vaccination site
- MAP: See how many people are vaccinated in your ZIP code