FDA authorizes Covid-19 booster for children six-months-old and up

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) —

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration authorized the bivalent Covid-19 booster shot for children ages six months to five-years-old.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending the booster as well, available through Moderna and Pfizer.

According to Immunization Medical Director for SC DHEC, Dr. Jonathan Knoche, only two percent of children in South Carolina under the age of five-years-old are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

“So there are children who haven’t been vaccinated with the Covid vaccine at all. They would still start off their primary series with a monovalent vaccine product. And then once they get to a booster option that becomes a bivalent option. So that covers some of the original strain of Covid-19 and a more updated one that includes an element of Omicron coverage as well,” Dr. Knoche says.

With the holidays approaching, he says he hopes more parents will consider getting the Covid vaccine for their children.

“I think that there’s still some hesitancy in the population about the severity of Covid and some uncertainty about the vaccine’s efficacy. But we know that these MRA vaccines are very effective at preventing Covid infections and preventing hospitalizations and preventing deaths. So even though kids generally do well from Covid infections, we know that we can still help those kids from getting sick at all, missing school, winding up hospitalized or spreading it to people like their grandparents who might be more at risk for a severe outcome,” Dr. Knoche says.

Prisma Health’s Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician, Dr. Anna-Kathryn Burch, says Covid vaccines and booster shots are safe and effective.

“I would say to parents that this is another way that you can protect your child from an infectious disease. I mean, we’ve seen Covid from the last 2 and half years–it’s a way that you can protect your kid,” says Dr. Burch.

Prisma Health officials also report that the flu shot is just as safe for children six months and older.

“If your child hasn’t gotten their flu shot this flu season, it’s time to go ahead and get that as well. And you can do both of them together .There’s no reason why you can’t get both shots together,” says Dr. Burch.

Dr. Burch and Dr. Knoche agree that if your child recently had Covid-19, it’s safe for them to get the Covid-19 vaccine or booster after the recommended isolation period.

Categories: Health, State