This is important news for parents of kids in this age group who are vaccinated, as this bivalent booster includes protection against the highly transmissible and immune-evading variants that dominate today and boosts immune protection that wanes with time.
This week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Pfizer bivalent vaccine for ages 5-11 years and the Moderna bivalent vaccine for ages 6-17 years. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today signed a decision memo expanding use of these updated boosters.
Children have a much lower risk than older adults of developing severe illness from COVID-19, but there’s simply no reason to take this chance when vaccines have proven to be so safe and effective. In addition, children share the risk of developing long COVID and also can pass COVID-19 to more vulnerable people. If you’re in doubt, please consult your child’s health care provider.
I encourage you to consider this booster part of your child’s vaccination schedule, one that also should include getting vaccinated against seasonal influenza. The good news is you can get both at the same time, meaning double the value from visiting your provider and catching up on any needed vaccinations.
If your child 6 months of age and older isn’t already vaccinated against COVID-19, I encourage you to change that as soon as possible. You’ll find hundreds of providers at azhealth.gov/FindVaccine.