When can children get an updated COVID-19 booster shot?

Children as young as 5 years old can receive the updated COVID-19 booster shots as early as mid-October.

That’s according to the latest version of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s fall vaccination planning guide detailing how the federal government is rolling out new bivalent COVID-19 vaccines targeting currently circulating strains of the omicron variant of the virus.

The new booster shots were cleared by the FDA in late August for people 12 and older who received their first round of coronavirus vaccinations — or the original booster dose — at least two months ago. Pfizer’s updated boosters are now available for people as young as 12, while Moderna is limited to people 18 and older.

The CDC said in the guidance that while the Food and Drug Administration allows new boosters for Americans as young as age 5, its recommendations — needed to start giving the shots — are anticipated “early to mid-October. “.

Pfizer’s updated boosters should be available for ages 5 to 11, while Moderna’s would be for ages 5 to 17.

States should be able to begin pre-ordering new Pfizer booster doses for children on Monday, the guide said, adding that updated Moderna boosters, including a reduced dose for young children, would come from the same vials already in use. .

“There will be an adequate but limited supply of bivalent pediatric COVID-19 vaccines, which should be directed to providers whose demand is expected among eligible patients,” the CDC guidance states. The federal government recently released more than 10 million doses of Moderna vaccines that had been held up due to safety inspection.

It is also noted in the guide that “at least one bivalent vaccine for children aged 6 months to 4 years could be authorized later in the fall”. Currently, children under 5 are only eligible for the first round of vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccination rates for infants and toddlers, about 6% nationally for at least one dose and only slightly higher in Utah, were called “very disappointing” this week by Dr. Andrew Pavia, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah. and director of epidemiology at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.

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