Children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible to receive an updated COVID-19 booster that will provide better protection against the currently circulating coronavirus variants. The booster has been authorized by both federal and state agencies.
This booster is bivalent, meaning it protects against the original COVID-19 strain and the more transmissible omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants, which have been the predominant strains in Oregon and the United States over the past year. The new booster will also protect against severe disease.
“Vaccination continues to be our most powerful tool to prevent serious complications of COVID-19,” said Pediatrician Tori Smith, DO, of Samaritan Lincoln City Medical Center. “Children can receive a booster at least two months after finishing a primary series or prior booster dose.”
Dr. Smith noted that it is also safe for children to get a flu vaccine at the same time as the COVID-19 booster.
“In fall and winter, as we’re inside more, respiratory viruses tend to spread at higher rates. Getting your child vaccinated with the new booster, as well as the annual flu shot, will help decrease your child’s chances of missing school or activities due to illness,” Dr. Smith said.
Contact your child’s pediatrician if you have questions or to make an appointment. (Supplies of the new bivalent booster may be limited.) Your doctor can also answer any questions or concerns you may have.
To learn more and find out where to get the COVID-19 vaccine, visit samhealth.org/GetTheVaccine.