Dr. Ashish Jha plans to ‘follow the evidence’ and boost his 10-year-old. He recommends you do too.

“Evidence for Omicron is clear: a 3rd dose helps. A lot.”

A healthcare worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a child at a clinic in Oklahoma Nov. 17, 2021. Nick Oxford/Bloomberg

As of this week, children ages 5 to 11 can officially join the boosted community, after both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration signed off on Pfizer’s booster for the age group. Dr. Ashish Jha applauded the move, urging Americans to get their eligible children boosted. 

Jha, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, has a 10-year-old son and said on Twitter his plan is simple: “Follow the evidence and get him boosted.”

The doctor, who is on leave from serving as dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, said he has a few reasons for doing so, mainly that “kids are way better off vaccinated than not.”


Throughout the pandemic it has been clear that, on the whole, kids fare better through an infection with COVID-19 than adults and other at-risk groups.

“Obviously kids are lower risk than the elderly,” Jha said.

But the doctor said that is not the right comparison to make, seeing as kids are at lower risk of many things than the elderly.  

Instead, COVID-19 should be compared to other risks kids face, he said.

COVID-19, based on the numbers, is more dangerous to kids than other illnesses that children are vaccinated against, Jha pointed out. COVID-19 vaccinations “dramatically lower [the] risk of hospitalizations and deaths for children,” he said.

Jha noted that vaccines also “dramatically lower” the risk of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, a serious condition associated with COVID-19 that can lead to inflammation of children’s organs. He called the risks of the vaccines in children ages 5 to 11 “trivial” and said they are far outweighed by the risk of complications from coronavirus. 

“Evidence for Omicron is clear: a 3rd dose helps. A lot,” Jha wrote. “So if you have a 5-11 year-old at home and that kiddo got their last dose 5 months ago or more it’s time for a 3rd dose. Infections are high, a 3rd dose provides real additional protection. That’s why I’m getting my 10-year-old a boost.”


For people in Massachusetts looking to get their children vaccinated, children are able to receive the Pfizer pediatric booster at “hundreds of locations across the Commonwealth,” ranging from pharmacies, to doctors offices, to state-supported vaccination sites, according to the Baker-Polito administration.

“As a pediatrician and as a parent, I want to stress that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is safe and effective in preventing severe illness and hospitalizations in children, and I encourage parents and families to get their children boosted and contact their health care provider if they have any questions,” Estevan Garcia, the Department of Public Health’s chief medical officer, said in a statement. 

To find specific locations offering the pediatric booster, people can use VaxFinder, which is run by the state, or can call their primary care provider, according to the state. 

Below, read Jha’s full thread:


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