Updated Sep 23, 2022 - Health

Moderna seeks emergency authorization for omicron COVID booster for children

A health worker draws the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Moderna announced Friday that it has requested emergency use authorization for its omicron COVID-19 booster shots for children aged 6-17 years old.

Driving the news: The application for the bivalent vaccine for children ages 6 months to under 6 years old is expected to be completed later this year, the company said on Twitter.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that it anticipates recommending the updated boosters for kids in early- to mid-October, pending authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

Of note: Doses of bivalent Moderna vaccine for children aged 6-17 years are expected to come from the same vials currently used for vaccinating adults, per the CDC.

  • The vaccine for children aged 6-11 years is expected to be half the volume and dosage that is currently authorized for adults, according to the CDC.
  • The vaccine for those aged 12-17 years is expected be the same volume and dosage as is currently authorized for individuals aged 18 years and older.

Reality check: Less than 325,000 of America's youngest children were fully vaccinated as of this week — and hesitancy continues to dog the pandemic response, Axios' Erin Doherty reports.

  • Children under 5 have had the highest rates of hospitalization from COVID among youth, per the CDC.

Background: The FDA authorized COVID-19 vaccines for kids between 6 months and 5 years in June — nearly a year and a half after the first vaccines were made available for at-risk adults.

Moderna did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Axios' Adriel Bettelheim contributed to this report.

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