FDA authorizes updated COVID boosters for children as young as 5

The booster vaccines are designed to target the omicron varient.
Child getting COVID vaccine
Child getting COVID vaccine
Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday issued an emergency use authorization for new COVID-19 boosters for children as young as five.

Moderna's bivalent COVID vaccine, which targets the omicron variant, is authorized for children as young as six while Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine targeting omicron may be administered for children as young as five.

FDA official Dr. Peter Marks said children are at a "potential for increased risk" of COVID as they are back in school this fall.

"While it has largely been the case that COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children than adults, as the various waves of COVID-19 have occurred, more children have gotten sick with the disease and have been hospitalized," he said.

The FDA voted this summer to recommend pharmaceutical companies create booster shots targeting omicron. Pfizer asked for the FDA to approve its bivalent booster for children late last month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to approve the new booster shots for children.