FDA Approves Bivalent COVID Shots for Kids as Young as Six Months
Children as young as 6 months can now receive COVID-19 shots from Moderna and Pfizer and their partner BioNTech that target both the original coronavirus and the Omicron sub-variant.
According to the amended authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, Moderna’s bivalent shot can be used as a booster for children 6 months through 5 years of age two months after their initial vaccination.
In addition, Pfizer/BioNTech’s updated shot can now be given as the third dose to children aged 6 months through 4 years who have not yet completed their primary vaccination series, According to the agency, children who have already received Pfizer’s original three-dose vaccination cannot receive the bivalent booster.
It is expected that data on Pfizer/BioNTech’s bivalent shot will be available in January supporting its use as a booster in this age group.
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The youngest children in the United States have only recently been able to receive vaccination shots, making them the last group of children to do so.
According to government data, only 2.7% of children under two years of age and less than 5% of children aged two to four years who are eligible have completed their primary vaccination series. This represents a slow rate of vaccination in young children.
In Moderna’s vaccine for children under 6 have two doses, each of 25 micrograms, and the shots are separated by at least four weeks. Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine, which is for the youngest, is a three-shot regimen spread over at least 11 weeks, Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 39.7 million people in the United States have received a bivalent booster as of Nov. 30.