The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized updated COVID-19 shots from Pfizer and Moderna that target the omicron variant for children as young as six months.
The step comes ahead of a potential rise in COVID activity surrounding the holidays and amid large spikes in other respiratory viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still needs to sign off on the recommendation before the youngest kids can receive the new bivalent (two-strain) boosters.
Delay for youngsters who got full Pfizer series
FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, MD, said, “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.”
“Vaccines remain the best defense against the most devastating consequences of disease caused by the currently circulating omicron variant, such as hospitalization and death. Based on available data, the updated, bivalent vaccines are expected to provide increased protection against COVID-19,” Peter Marks, MD, PhD, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a press release. “Parents and caregivers can be assured that the FDA has taken a great deal of care in our review, and we encourage parents of children of any age who are eligible for primary vaccination or a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster dose to consider seeking vaccination now as it can potentially help protect them from COVID-19 during a time when cases are increasing.”
Walgreens Now Offering Updated COVID-19 Bivalent Vaccine to Children Ages 3+
Walgreens is offering both Pfizer and Moderna’s new boosters. The shots haven’t reached all of the chain’s locations yet, but new appointments are being added daily. You can view and schedule appointments on the Walgreens website, on the pharmacy’s app or by calling 1-800-WALGREENS.