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FDA authorizes Covid omicron vaccines for children as young as 6 months old

Oliver Harris, 9 months, cries after receiving a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Northwell Health’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, US, June 22, 2022. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized updated Covid shots that target the omicron variant for children as young as 6 months old.

The eligibility rules vary depending on whether children received Moderna’s or Pfizer’s original vaccines as their primary series. Here are the eligibility criteria:

  • Children 6 months through 5 years old who received Moderna’s two-dose primary series are now eligible for an omicron booster two months after their second shot.
  • Kids ages 6 months through 4 years old who have not yet received the third dose of Pfizer’s primary series will now receive the omicron shot as their third dose.
  • But kids in the same age group who have already completed Pfizer’s three-dose primary series cannot get the omicron shot as a booster, or fourth dose, at this time.

The FDA, in a statement, said it did not authorize omicron shots for those children who already received three doses of Pfizer’s vaccine because the agency is still waiting on supporting data for the booster dose. That data is expected in January and the FDA will review it as quickly as possible, the agency said.

The authorizations come as Covid infections and hospitalizations are increasing in the wake of the Thanksgiving holiday season.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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