Wednesday, October 19, 2022

COVID-19 Bivalent Boosters Available for Kids in Time for Fall Gatherings


Being up to date with COVID-19 vaccines means getting updated booster doses for much of the population. APH supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated booster recommendations for everyone 5 and older at least two months after their most recent COVID-19 vaccine. Updated (bivalent) boosters offer broader protection against newer COVID-19 variants.   

While children 5 and older became eligible for COVID-19 vaccines almost a year ago, about half of Travis County’s 5-to-11-year-olds are not yet eligible for COVID-19 booster doses because they have not completed their primary vaccination series. About 40% of children 5 to 11 years of age have completed their primary series in Travis County.  

“Another wave of infections has begun in Europe and will likely reach the U.S. in the next few weeks. We can get ahead of this by getting the bivalent booster,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin–Travis County’s Health Authority. “The updated boosters can protect against serious illness caused by newer variants, including BA.5 sublineages BQ.1 and BQ.1.1. We need more people—especially children—to complete their primary series to better safeguard our community.” 

The World Health Organization is tracking more than 300 omicron sublineages, mostly of BA.5 or BA.2. As the virus continues to change, it is necessary to adjust recommendations accordingly. Updated (bivalent) boosters are available at pharmacies and private providers throughout the area. The APH Mobile Vaccination Program (MVP) has been administering them at pop-up clinics, and now even more people in Austin–Travis County are eligible for enhanced protection.   

COVID-19 booster dose eligibility highlights include: 

  • All children 5 and older can get Pfizer’s updated booster, and children 6 and older can get Pfizer or Moderna’s updated booster.  
  • Children who got Moderna’s primary vaccination series are now eligible for booster doses. Previously, only children 12 and older whose primary series was Moderna were eligible for boosters.  
  • People who have gotten more than one original (monovalent) booster are recommended to get an updated (bivalent) booster.   
  • There are specific recommendations for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.  

For more information on pediatric COVID-19 vaccines, visit CDC’s pediatric vaccine safety information