FDA and CDC authorize COVID-19 booster shot for children age 5 to 11

By Regence
May 19, 2022

Updated May 19, 2022

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have expanded guidance for eligible children age 5 to 11 to get a booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

A first booster shot is still recommended for all people age 12 and older who received their initial series of the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Also, a second Pfizer or Moderna booster shot is still recommended for people age 50+ and for those age 12+ who are immunocompromised.

  • The Pfizer booster may be administered five months after the second shot (age 5+); a second booster four months after first booster (age 50+ and for those who are immunocompromised age 12+)
  • The Moderna booster may be administered six months after the second shot (age 18+); a second booster four months after first booster (age 50+)
  • The Johnson & Johnson booster may be administered two months after the single shot (age 18+)

The federal agencies also authorized use of a ‘mix and match’ booster dose. People age 18 and older may choose a single dose of any available COVID-19 vaccine as a booster after they are fully vaccinated. Vaccine booster eligibility depends on the primary vaccine received. Speak with your provider about which vaccine booster is right for you. 

The amended authorization for expanding booster shots for children age 5 to 11 comes after emerging evidence from FDA analysis of a study suggests a booster improves protection against severe COVID-19 with no new safety concerns. According to FDA leaders, the benefits of a booster far outweigh the risks.

While no vaccine is 100% effective, vaccination continues to be the most effective way to prevent severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization and death. All people eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged to get their shots. 

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have full FDA approval for adults ages 18 and older and the Pfizer vaccine is available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for youth ages 5 through 17. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine also continues to be available under EUA for people 18 and older. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the single shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the second shot of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. 

More information about the available COVID-19 vaccines, including booster shots, is available on the CDC website. Visit your state’s health department website or the CDC’s Vaccine Finder site to find out where all eligible people ages 5 and older can get a COVID-19 vaccine:

More information about your coverage for COVID-19 vaccinations, testing and treatment can be found at regence.com