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COVID-19 bivalent boosters for young children: What parents must know

Bivalent COVID-19 boosters for children 6 months and older couldn’t come at a better time, as the “tripledemic” of COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) rages on in the United States.

December 27th, 2022 by Jennifer Lubell

Flu season started early this year and COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spiked after Thanksgiving. Internist Sandra A. Fryhofer, MD, said her phone’s “been ringing off the hook” from sick patients. 

“Flu hospitalizations are the highest levels we’ve seen this time of year in a decade. And at least 14 pediatric deaths from flu have already been recorded,” Dr. Fryhofer said during an episode of “AMA Update” recorded earlier this month. She chairs the AMA Board of Trustees and is the AMA’s liaison to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). She’s also a member of ACIP’s COVID-19 Vaccine Workgroup. 

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Moderna’s updated bivalent vaccines for emergency use in small children. Within a day, the CDC recommended that parents take advantages of the newly authorized vaccines.

recent study in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that updated COVID vaccines help protect against illness and death, Dr. Fryhofer noted.

“This expanded age authorization means more children now have the opportunity to update and broaden their protection against COVID with a bivalent vaccine,” she added.

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