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FDA authorizes Pfizer booster for kids: What this means for family summer travel

May 17, 2022
4 min read
FDA authorizes Pfizer booster for kids: What this means for family summer travel
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In much-awaited news, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the administration of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine boosters in children ages 5-11, paving the way for families to access booster shots for children in this age range ahead of summer travel.

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Pending approval by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is expected on Thursday, children in this age group will be eligible to receive a booster dose starting at the five-month mark following their completion of the two-dose primary vaccine series.

The rollout of the booster shot begins once the CDC signs off on authorization. That means parents of children ages 5-11 who want a booster sooner rather than later should keep an eye out for the ability to make booster appointments in the coming days.

Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine is available at large-scale pharmacies, including CVS, Walgreens and Walmart, in addition to some primary care providers, at no cost in certain locations based on eligibility and insurance.

Boosters have been available to those ages 12-15 since January, but this would be the first time kids 5-11 would be eligible.

The U.S. government has not yet authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5 years of age.

“While it has largely been the case that COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children than adults, the omicron wave has seen more kids getting sick with the disease and being hospitalized, and children may also experience longer term effects, even following initially mild disease,” FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf said in a statement. “The FDA is authorizing the use of a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age to provide continued protection against COVID-19."

Related: A country-by-country guide to where you can travel with no COVID-19 test and/or vaccine required

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Many Americans remain hesitant to travel internationally out of fear of testing positive and getting stuck in a foreign country since the U.S. remains one of just a few countries still requiring travelers to take a negative COVID-19 test within one day of travel to enter.

Additionally, note that while we have seen an increase in the number of places with booster entry requirements, at least up until now, kids are often either exempt or subject to slightly different rules that may lean on testing or entering with a fully vaccinated parent. Germany, for example, allows unvaccinated travelers under 12 to enter alongside vaccinated adults by submitting a negative COVID-19 test before flying. Of course, this may continue to evolve as time goes by.

Within the European Union specifically, countries have introduced policies limiting the length a vaccine is good for, such as 180, 210 or 270 days. This means that after a certain amount of time, a booster will be required, at least for adults. Be sure to check the entry requirements related to specific countries to verify what constitutes "fully vaccinated," which the U.S. Embassy outlines for most countries.

In addition to countries, some cruise lines, including Lindblad Expeditions, Silversea Cruises and Azamara, require most passengers to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot before sailing.

Bottom line

According to CDC data, less than 30% of children 5-11 have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, for those who have, a booster might not be a bad idea.

The FDA says that the effectiveness provided by the vaccine against COVID-19 wanes over time following one's second dose, for all vaccinated persons. Therefore, the agency says the benefits of a single booster dose for children ages 5-11 outweigh any potential risks.

Related: Traveling to France? Here's what to know about booster and testing requirements

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023