Updates provided on COVID-19 booster dose availability and recommendations
CDC Community Levels
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated the COVID-19 community levels for Rhode Island's counties. The areas that had been designated as "high" – Bristol County, Kent County, Providence County, and Washington County – are now considered "medium." Newport County, which was "medium," is now designated as "high."
Each week the CDC identifies the COVID-19 community level in every county in the country as "low," "medium," or "high" using case rates and data on hospital admissions and percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. In counties designated as "high," the CDC recommends people wear high-quality masks while in indoor public settings. Regardless of the designation of someone's county, everyone should get tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. (This means getting the recommended booster dose when you are eligible.)
The full recommendations by community level from the CDC are available online (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html).
COVID-19 Booster Dose Availability and Recommendations
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is reminding families that booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine are now available for children 5 through 11 years of age in Rhode Island. National and local health experts are now recommending booster doses for everyone 5 years of age and older. (Previously, boosters were only recommended for people age 12 and older.)
The CDC recommends that children ages 5 through 11 get a booster dose of Pfizer vaccine at least five months after their primary series. Children ages 5 through 11 with moderately to severely compromised immune systems should get a booster dose at least three months after their additional dose.
To find a Pfizer booster dose near you, talk to your child's pediatrician or visit C19VaccineRI.org.
The CDC has also strengthened their recommendations for second boosters, stating that people age 50 or older and people age 12 or older who have moderately to severely compromised immune systems should get a second booster at least four months after their first booster. (Previously, CDC stated that people in these groups had the option to get a second booster.)
Only mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are authorized for us as second boosters. Currently, only Pfizer has COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use by people younger than 16.
More information about COVID-19 is available at https://covid.ri.gov/.