The omicron booster is now approved for kids as young as 5 years old

The omicron booster is now approved for kids as young as 5 years old

The FDA announced its latest COVID vaccine-related approval just ahead of the busy holiday season. Pfizer’s omicron booster is now approved for children ages 5 and up and Moderna’s is approved for children ages 6 and up.

Children ages 5-11 that have completed their initial 2-dose series, may obtain the updated booster at least two months from completing the initial vaccine series.

The new booster, which soon will be available broadly, helps protect against the original strain as well as the widely circulating BA.4 and BA.5 variants. The booster can also help your child if they happen to get another illness on top of testing positive for COVID.

“We are seeing an upswing of respiratory illnesses in the community,” says Dr. Kevin Dahlman, medical director at Aurora Children’s Health. “With improved protection against COVID, vaccinated children and teens will likely still have other respiratory illnesses this cold and flu season. Co-infections, or having an illness and COVID at the same time, add to the severity and duration of the illness.”

Previously, the omicron booster was only approved for ages 12 and older. Children under 5 are only eligible for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine series at this time.

“As with any vaccine or medical intervention, this is an individual decision that should be explored thoroughly and worthy of a conversation with your child’s trusted physician or APC,” says Dr. Dahlman.

Regardless of vaccine status, Dr. Dahlman says if your child tests positive for COVID you should keep them home from school and extracurriculars.

Learn more about how to schedule your COVID booster appointment. 

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Anna Kohler
Anna Kohler

Anna Kohler, health enews contributor, is a public affairs specialist for Advocate Aurora Health. She received her bachelor of science in public relations from Illinois State University and has worked in healthcare public relations for over three years. In her free time, she enjoys working out, exploring new places with her friends and family and keeping up with the latest trends.