COVID-19 continues to spread havoc across the globe. While some countries have managed to keep the infections under control, some of them are not able to have a hold on it. Under such circumstances, the Food and Drug Administration on December 8, 2022 authorized the updated COVID-19 vaccines that would target the Omicron variant. The vaccine has been approved for administration in children as young as 6 months.
The eligibility criteria depends on the factor if the children have received the Moderna or the Pfizer vaccine as their primary shots. Children between 6 months to 5 years who have received the Moderna primacy vaccines that consists of two doses, are eligible for the Omicron booster two months after they have received the second shot. On the other hand children between 6 months to 4 years who have not received the third dose of the Pfizer primary vaccines can now receive the new Omicron shot as their third dose.
However, the children in the same age group who have completed all three doses of the Pfizer series will not be eligible for the Omicron dose as a booster or the fourth dose. The FDA has made it clear in its statement that the children who have received all three doses of the Pfizer vaccine will not be administered the Omicron shots. The agency defended that it has held back as it is still waiting for more supporting data for the booster dose. It is expected that the data would be released by January and then the FDA will review it as soon as possible.
The recent authorizations have been approved as the number of COVID infections and hospitalizations are increasing during the holiday season. The health officials in the United States are strongly recommending people who are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID should get it as soon as possible. The flu season is also putting a strain on the emergency departments.
Photo Credits: Unsplash