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U.S. CDC expands use of bivalent COVID vaccines for kids as young as 6 months


Vials labelled “VACCINE Coronavirus COVID-19” and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed U.S. flag in this illustration taken December 11, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday expanded the use of COVID-19 vaccines that target both the original coronavirus and Omicron sub-variants to include children aged 6 months through 5 years.

The development comes a day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the updated shots from Moderna (MRNA.O) as well as Pfizer (PFE.N) and its partner BioNTech (22UAy.DE) for use in children as young as 6 months.

Children aged 6 months through 5 years will now be eligible to get a Moderna bivalent booster 2 months after their final primary vaccination dose for COVID-19.

Pfizer/BioNTech’s updated vaccine for children aged 6 months through 4 years can be given only as the third dose for those who are yet to complete their primary COVID-19 vaccinations.

Vaccines for young children in the United States were only approved in June this year, making them the last group to become eligible for vaccination.

Data from the CDC shows only 2.9% children under the age of 2 years, and less than 5% of children aged 2 to 4 years, who are eligible have completed their primary vaccination series as of Dec. 7.