By: Savannah Scarborough, Follow South Jersey Intern
SOUTH JERSEY – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children six months through four years of age receive the bivalent Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as a booster dose if they have completed their three-dose primary series with the monovalent Pfizer vaccine New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli announced recently.
The CDC recommendation follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration‘s (FDA) recent announcement that it amended the emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for a single booster dose to the mentioned age group.
“Currently available data show that vaccination remains the best defense against severe disease, hospitalization and death caused by COVID-19 across all age groups, and we encourage all eligible individuals to make sure that their vaccinations are up to date with a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
Children must have completed their Pfizer primary series with the monovalent vaccine more than two months ago to receive the booster dose.
Since December 2022, six months through four-year-old children who received the first two doses of the monovalent Pfizer vaccine are recommended to complete their three-dose series with the Pfizer bivalent COVID-19 vaccine. But these children are not eligible for the additional booster dose of the bivalent vaccine.
On the contrary, children six months through four years of age who previously completed a Moderna primary series are eligible for the Moderna bivalent booster two months after completing their two-dose primary series.
In a clinical study conducted by the FDA, data from 60 children in the mentioned age group who completed the necessary doses shows the participants demonstrated an immune response to both the original SARS-CoV-2 virus strain and to omicron BA.4/BA.5.
For additional information from the FDA about safety data for this age group to take these doses, visit https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-authorizes-bivalent-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine-booster-dose.
Health Commissioner Persichilli encourages eligible children to receive their primary vaccines and/or booster doses, emphasizing the importance of vaccinations and boosters for the betterment of the state. According to the New Jersey Department of Health, the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are the most potent tool against serious illness and offer individuals the best protection against the virus.
To locate a vaccine appointment, visit covid19.nj.gov/finder or call the Vaccine Call Center at 855-568-0545.
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