Santa Barbara County, Calif. - Josiah Moreno is only 1. He’s not old enough to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
But his brother Julian Moreno who’s 11, is, and soon be able to get the vaccine booster once he turns 12.
“I plan to get it because I don’t wanna get sick and I plan to get it with my mom,” said Julian Moreno.
Health experts at Marian Regional Medical Center believe the FDA recommendation to expand Pfizer booster vaccines for more teens will help fight the pandemic.
"The FDA has looked at a lot of Data from across the globe globe down to 12 … down to 12 years old for third doses of Pfizer and Maderna … we know that adolescence did really well during the first and second doses," said Dr. Scott Robertson at Marian Regional Medical Center.
Robertson says more than 6,000 patients were studied over seas to ensure the vaccine’s safety for younger teens.
"And they showed absolutely no side effects … including zero cases of myocarditis," said Robertson.
Robertson believes this will be a safe addition for adolescence in helping protect against delta and omicron variant.
“What we’ve seen is those that receive the third dose dose … have a much higher level of neutralizing antibodies … they can further protect them and further lower the risk of transmission," said Robertson.
"I’m very concerned ... people are dying ... ER’s are filling up," said resident George Wilson of Santa Maria.
Boosters already are recommended for everyone 16 and older.
The FDA also said everyone eligible for a booster can get one as early as five months after their last dose rather than six months.
But the move isn’t the final step.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must decide whether to recommend boosters for the younger teens.