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December 16 2022

Pediatric COVID-19 Booster Guidance Updates

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorized children ages 6 months to 4 years to receive the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as the third primary series dose. This news means that the youngest children are now able to broaden their protection against COVID-19 and the Omicron variants.

“More children now have the opportunity to update their protection against COVID-19 with a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, and we encourage parents and caregivers of those eligible to consider doing so — especially as we head into the holidays and winter months where more time will be spent indoors,” Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D., said in a press release posted on December 8.

It’s important to note that a booster dose is not authorized for children who received the original or monovalent 3-dose Pfizer series. However, if a child ages 6 months to 4 years old received the Moderna primary series, they are now eligible for the Moderna bivalent booster dose two months after the completion of their primary series.

According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccination in young children has had a slow adaption. 9.4% of children ages 2-4 years have received at least one dose, and 4.7% have completed their primary series. Among children under the age of 2 years, 6.5% have received at least one dose, and 2.9% have completed their primary series.

Experts say that the COVID-19 vaccines are still the best defense against serious illness, hospitalization and death. The CDC recommends everyone ages 6 months and older receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and everyone ages 5 years and older receive a booster dose.

 

Source:

“FDA, CDC expand Pfizer & Moderna bivalent vaccines to kids 6 months and up with Sandra Fryhofer, MD” AMA-ASSN.org. 13 December 2022.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Updated (Bivalent) COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Down to 6 Months of Age” FDA.GOV. 8 December 2022.

“Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States”. CDC.GOV. 16 December 2022.