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COVID-19 Boosters Approved For Kids As Young As 5

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COVID-19 Boosters Approved For Kids As Young As 5

(CTN News) – U.S. officials approved updated COVID-19 boosters for kids as young as 5 in preparation for a winter storm.

Last month, we sent out boosters tailored to today’s most common and contagious Omicron strain.

Health officials are urging people to get the extra protection before holiday gatherings, even though there wasn’t a big rush.

Children in elementary school can now get the updated booster doses as well – one made by Pfizer for 5- to 11-year-olds, and one made by rival Moderna for 6-year-olds.

As part of the federal approval process, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off.

Last week, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the updated shots could be available in Los Angeles County as early as Oct. 19.

It might be tiresome to keep getting vaccinated against COVID-19, but experts say updated shots are better: They contain half the recipe that targeted the original Coronavirus strain and half protection against the dominant BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron strains.

Combination boosters, or “bivalents,” broaden immune defenses so people are better protected against serious illness, whether they encounter an Omicron variant or another mutant.

Pfizer’s pediatrician Dr. Bill Gruber told the Associated Press, “We want the best of both worlds.” He hopes the shots will “reenergize interest in protecting kids.”

According to Dr. Jason Newland, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Washington University in St. Louis, the updated boosters are “extremely important.”

According to Newland, there are no safety concerns with the bivalent vaccines, whether they are manufactured by Moderna or Pfizer.

About three-fourths of Americans 12 and older are eligible. Dr. Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 coordinator, estimated Tuesday that only 13 million had gotten an updated booster.

Childhood vaccinations have become more difficult, much to the chagrin of pediatricians. Only about a third of 5-to-11-year-olds have had their two primary doses.

They should get the updated booster at least two months after their last dose, whether it was a primary vaccination or an earlier booster, the FDA says.

It could ship up to 6 million kid-size doses within a week of approval.

How much protection does an updated COVID-19 booster shot offer? I don’t know. Moderna and Pfizer are starting studies on kids.

Just like the FDA approves yearly changes to flu vaccines, the FDA cleared the COVID-19 booster tweaks without human tests.

Because both companies already studied experimental shots tweaked to target previous COVID-19 variants, including an earlier Omicron version, and found they safely stimulated the body’s immune system.

“It’s clearly a better vaccine, an important upgrade from what we had before,” Jha said earlier this week.

She recommends adults get their updated shot in October – like they do with flu shots – or at least before holiday gatherings with high-risk family and friends.

People who’ve recently had COVID-19 still need the booster, but can wait about three months.

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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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