Moderna has asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its updated COVID-19 booster for children as young as six. The bivalent vaccine provides protection against the BA.4/BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron strain, which are responsible for a vast majority of new cases of the virus.
The booster shot is currently authorized for anybody over the age of 12.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it expects children to be eligible for the boosters in mid-October, pending approval from the FDA. The CDC’s vaccine advisory committee is scheduled to meet on October 19 and 20.
Moderna said it expects to ask the FDA to authorize the booster for children under six later this year.
Pfizer said it plans to ask the FDA to authorize its updated bivalent booster shot for children between the ages of 5 and 11 in the next few weeks.
As of Thursday (September 22), the CDC said that 4.4 million Americans have gotten the updated booster shot. That represents just 1.5% of Americans eligible to receive the vaccine, though it is likely an undercount because it does not include people in Texas and Idaho who received Pfizer’s bivalent vaccine.