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Tipsheet

FDA Authorizes Bivalent COVID-19 Boosters for Children Under Age 5

AP Photo/Ted Jackson

On Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it expanded emergency use authorization for the bivalent COVID-19 booster for children between the ages of six months to 5 years old.

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Now, children who have received the primary two-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna could be eligible for the third shot (via CNBC):

The eligibility rules vary depending on whether children received Moderna’s or Pfizer’s original vaccines as their primary series.

Here are the eligibility criteria:

  • Children 6 months through 5 years old who received Moderna’s two-dose primary series are now eligible for an omicron booster two months after their second shot.

  • Kids ages 6 months through 4 years old who have not yet received the third dose of Pfizer’s primary series will now receive the omicron shot as their third dose.

  • But kids in the same age group who have already completed Pfizer’s three-dose primary series cannot get the omicron shot as a booster, or fourth dose, at this time.

The FDA did not specify in the announcement if children who’ve already received three doses of the vaccine are eligible for the bivalent shot targeted at Omicron. 

FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said in a statement that people should continue getting booster shots as they become available because the vaccine wanes over time.

“As this virus has changed, and immunity from previous COVID-19 vaccination wanes, the more people who keep up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, the more benefit there will be for individuals, families and public health by helping prevent severe illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths,” Califf said.

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Earlier this week, Townhall reported how Pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech submitted an application to FDA for Emergency Use Authorization of its COVID-19 omicron vaccine for children under 5.

“With the high level of respiratory illnesses currently circulating among children under 5 years of age, updated COVID-19 vaccines may help prevent severe illness and hospitalization,” the companies said in the press release. 

Earlier this year, Townhall covered how the FDA delayed its review of the COVID-19 vaccine for children in this age demographic. Reportedly, the delay was, in part, because the initial two-dose vaccine regimen was not working well to protect against the Omicron variant. 

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