FDA Authorizes Updated Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Shots For Children As Young As Five

Posted on October 13, 2022

The Washington Post (10/12) reports that on Wednesday, the FDA “authorized updated coronavirus booster shots for children as young as 5, making it likely the shots will be available shortly.” The agency “gave emergency use authorization to the Pfizer-BioNTech updated booster shot for children 5 to 11,” and it “also authorized the updated Moderna booster for children 6 to 17.” The article adds, “Vaccinations of children and adolescents with the primary two-shot series...have lagged,” as “only 31 percent of children 5 to 11 years old have gotten the two shots, and 58 percent of 12-to-17-year-olds have completed the series, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics analysis of CDC data.”

NBC News (10/12) reports AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases Vice Chair Sean O’Leary, MD, MPH, “attributed the slow vaccine rollout in children and adults to ‘pandemic fatigue and people wanting to move on,’” saying, “Unfortunately, we’re still seeing kids get sick with this.” The FDA’s “authorization comes as the number of kids under 18 diagnosed with COVID is rising.” The AAP “reports that nearly 40,700 child COVID cases were reported in the week ending Oct. 6, a slight increase over the prior week.”

The New York Times (10/12) reports CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky “quickly signed off on the new booster shots, the final step to making them available to young children around the country.”

The AP (10/12) reports children “group will get kid-size doses of the new omicron-targeting booster – and they can receive it at least two months after their last dose, whether that was their primary vaccination series or an earlier booster, the FDA said.”