DENVER (KDVR) — With omicron spreading rapidly across the United States and with its emergence here in Colorado, many parents are now struggling to decide how long they should wait before their children’s second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Preliminary research shows the longer you wait between doses, it could actually help boost immunity.
However, with omicron moving quickly, waiting can be a gamble.
In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests waiting three weeks in between both shots for children.
In Canada, the recommended time is eight weeks.
It’s even longer in Britain, where health officials are urging parents to wait 12 weeks.
So, what should Colorado parents do?
“We have to balance the risk of catching the omicron variant in between the two doses if parents lengthen the time between the first and second doses,” said Dr. Pam Zeitlin, chair of pediatrics at National Jewish Health in Denver. “So, yes, I sympathize because there is some data and it comes in from different countries and different types of studies saying: waiting up to eight weeks, as it might be done in the United Kingdom would lead to a stronger antibody response. However, that’s a matter of degree and if your child catches omicron and then gives it to somebody else, perhaps an elderly relative — I think that risk is really significant.”
There’s a study from the University of Oxford that appears to indicate people who wait 10 weeks between their first and second doses had antibodies levels roughly twice as high as those who waited just three or four weeks, according to the research.
“I think with the omicron coming on I would want my child protected sooner rather than later. So my recommendation is to get the second injection three weeks after the first one, keeping in mind the cases of mild carditis are extremely rare. It’s like 44 out of several million injections and all of those cases have been mild,” said Dr. Reggie Washington, chief medical officer from Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.
In the end, medical professionals said it’s up to each parent to decide.