Updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children as young as 6 months. This follows recommendations from the CDC and authorization from the FDA.
Updated vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna are now available. Here are the important details parents and caregivers need to be aware of:
- Children 6 months – 5 years who completed a Moderna primary series are eligible to receive a Moderna bivalent booster 2 months after their final primary series dose.
- Children 6 months – 4 years who are currently completing a Pfizer primary series (i.e., they have received one or two of their primary doses), will receive a Pfizer bivalent vaccine as their third primary dose.
- Children 6 months – 4 years who already completed their three-dose primary series with the original Pfizer vaccine are not eligible for an updated booster dose at this time. The data to support giving an updated bivalent booster dose to these children are expected in January.
The updated vaccines provide protection from both the original virus strain as well as the more recently circulating Omicron variant. Getting the updated booster dose is important because protection decreases over time and as the virus changes.
In the Fairfax Health District, just 21.9% of children under 5 years old (about one in every five) have received one dose or more of a COVID-19 vaccine. Some health care offices have received the vaccine already and others will receive it in the next two weeks. Vaccinating eligible children of all ages against COVID-19 can help keep them from becoming ill and from getting really sick if they do get COVID-19, including protecting them from short and long-term complications and hospitalization.
More information for parents and caregivers about COVID-19 vaccines is available online from the CDC. We encourage you to speak with your health care provider if you have questions about getting your child vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccines are widely available in our community. Search vaccines.gov to find a location near you. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to contact their health care provider about getting vaccinated. Most pharmacy locations only vaccinate children aged 3 years or older. Residents who are unable to find a COVID-19 vaccine may call the Fairfax County Call Center at 703-324-7404 to make an appointment at one of the Health Department’s district office clinics.
In addition to getting vaccinated against COVID-19, residents are reminded to keep up the healthy habits that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses like flu and RSV which also are spreading in our community. Actions like staying home when sick, washing your hands, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching your face, and considering ventilation and masking when gathering with others, are all important to keeping yourself and others healthy this winter.