Moderna, Pfizer Seek Authorization for Children's Boosters

Ralph Ellis

September 26, 2022

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, the two biggest COVID vaccine makers for the United States, are both seeking emergency authorization from the FDA for bivalent vaccine boosters for children.

Pfizer's booster would be for children 5 to 11 who have completed a primary vaccination series, the company said in a Monday news release. Moderna's updated boosters would be for children ages 6 to 17 who have completed a primary vaccination series, the company tweeted on Friday.

For the Moderna booster, children 12 to 17 would receive the same dose as older people, while children 6 to 11 would get a half dose from the same vial, the CDCsaid in a Sept. 20 update to its fall vaccination planning guide.

"If authorized by FDA, CDC anticipates a recommendation for bivalent COVID-19 vaccine as a booster for pediatric age groups in early to mid-October," the CDC document said.

Moderna also tweeted that an application for children ages 6 months to under 6 years should be completed later this year.

The bivalent boosters, which target both the original COVID strain and the BA.4 and BA.5 strains of Omicron, became available earlier this month for older people who have completed a primary vaccination series. Moderna's bivalent booster is now given to people 18 and older and Pfizer's is given to people 12 and older.

The newest booster became available to the public around Labor Day weekend, and about 4.4 million people have gotten it as of Sept. 21, according to the CDC.

Sources

Pfizer: "Pfizer and BioNTech Submit Application to U.S. FDA for Emergency Use Authorization of Omicron BA.4/BA.5-Adapted Bivalent Vaccine Booster in Children 5 Through 11 Years of Age."

Twitter: @moderna_tx, Sept. 23, 2022.

CDC: "UPDATED: CDC Fall Vaccination Operational Planning Guide."

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