Parents of young children in Virginia are now able to seek a free bivalent pediatric COVID-19 booster vaccine for their children aged five years and older, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced today, following the recommendation of the booster vaccines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on October 12.
The Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster, currently available for persons aged 12 years and older who have completed their primary series or received their last monovalent booster at least two months ago, is now available for children aged 5 years to 11 years with a dosing of a third of the adult dose. The Moderna bivalent booster, currently available for persons aged 18 years and older who have completed their primary series or received their last monovalent booster at least two months ago, is now available for children aged 6 years to 11 years with a dosing of a half of the adult dose and for children and adolescents aged 12 years through 17 years with a dosing identical to Moderna’s adult vaccine.
Both bivalent boosters are targeted at the original strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that first emerged in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, and at the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron variant that emerged in the United States in November 2021.
VDH advises parents to discuss this option with their child’s healthcare provider. Vaccination opportunities may be found at Vaccinate.Virginia.gov. Information about all the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for administration in the U.S. is available at the VDH COVID-19 vaccine website. The Vaccinate Virginia Call Center is an additional source of information; call (877) VAX-IN-VA – (877)-829-4682 – Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information is available in English, Spanish and more than 100 other languages.