The Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday morning that emergency use authorizations for Omicron-specific bivalent booster vaccines are now authorized for kids between the ages of five and 11.
Last month, both Pfizer and Moderna submitted for a EUA from the FDA for a single updated booster dose for younger age groups.
The Moderna booster shot is authorized for administration to children as young as six more than two months removed from their most recent COVID vaccination. Meanwhile, the Pfizer booster shot is authorized for children as young as five who are also two months removed from their most recent COVID vaccination.
As a result of this announcement, the FDA said the monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is no longer authorized as a booster dose for children between the ages of 5 and 11.
The FDA’s decision came as the daily average of new COVID cases and deaths has continued to fall though there are concerns that a lagging updated booster shot campaign could portend another spike in the winter.
The Biden administration has recently pushed to have more Americans get the new COVID-19 shots as the country battles through pandemic fatigue and a debate over whether the new boosters are necessary.
Additionally, Pfizer-BioNTech Omicron-specific boosters have been easier to receive in recent weeks while Moderna has endured weeks-long delays in shipping its shots out due to a manufacturing issue at one of its facilities.
“Since children have gone back to school in person and people are resuming pre-pandemic behaviors and activities, there is the potential for increased risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19,” Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the FDA, said in a statement. “Vaccination remains the most effective measure to prevent the severe consequences of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death.”