comscore Hawaii orders bivalent COVID-19 boosters for keiki under 5
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Hawaii orders bivalent COVID-19 boosters for keiki under 5

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / JUNE 21
                                Deborah Sampson, left, a nurse at a University of Washington Medical Center clinic in Seattle, gives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shot to a 20-month-old child, in June.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS / JUNE 21

    Deborah Sampson, left, a nurse at a University of Washington Medical Center clinic in Seattle, gives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shot to a 20-month-old child, in June.

Hawaii health officials said today they have placed orders for the new bivalent COVID-19 boosters which are now federally approved for children six months to five years old.

The newly approved bivalent boosters for the state’s youngest keiki are expected to arrive early next week, and health care providers can administer them as soon as they arrive, the state Department of Health said today.

On Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna bivalent boosters for use in children as young as six months old. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today expanded the use of bivalent boosters to children ages six months to five years old.

“The authorization of these updated bivalent vaccines comes at a good time,” said Hawaii Health Director Dr. Elizabeth “Libby” Char in a news release. “Now young children can get the same protection adults have as families gather for the holidays.”

The bivalent booster targeting both the ancestral strain of COVID-19 and omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, has been available for those ages 12 and older since Labor Day weekend. Children ages 5 to 11 have been eligible for bivalent boosters since mid-October.

Moderna’s bivalent booster is available to children ages 6 months to 5 years old if it has been two months since completing a primary series with the monovalent Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

Pfizer’s bivalent booster is available to children 6 months to 4 years old who either have not yet begun their three-dose primary series of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, or who have not yet received their third dose.

Those who have already completed their three-dose series of the original, monovalent Pfizer vaccine, however, are not eligible for a bivalent booster dose at this time, the FDA said.

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