Genesee County, MI—The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as the age of 5. 

Following the FDA’s expanded authorization last week, the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) has begun offering updated Moderna boosters for children between 6 to 11 years old and updated Pfizer boosters for children ages 5 to 11.

“It’s really important for families to know what’s available and to know that they can go and get the booster because we’re still seeing a lot of cases of COVID,” said Dr. Gwendolyn Reyes, a pediatrician at Hurley Medical Center. 

“We’re seeing a lot of other viruses as well that don’t necessarily all have vaccines against them, and so anything we can do to help protect our kids to keep them well is really important,” she continued.

The updated boosters, also known as bivalent boosters, target the original SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants. Like the updated boosters for older age groups, children within the specified age groups are eligible for the updated boosters two months after their primary vaccination or previous booster shot.

Holiday gatherings like Halloween and Thanksgiving are approaching amid what experts say could be a difficult flu season. Therefore, health professionals like Reyes are urging Flint residents to consider recommended vaccinations beyond COVID.

Reyes advised families to “not forget about flu and all the other routine childhood immunizations that our kiddos need to get caught up on. Many of them got behind during COVID.” 

Other precautions include masking, hand washing, and if feeling unwell, skipping autumn’s in-person celebrations and getting tested. 

“We want to do everything we can to help balance having fun, being around other people and doing all the fun activities that we love to do, but [staying] as safe as possible,” Reyes said. can help you find locations for COVID vaccines and flu vaccines.

Click here for updates on COVID community vaccine clinics and here for updates on community flu vaccine clinics in Genesee County.

Call the GCHD immunization line at 810-237-4569 for scheduling a vaccine appointment. 

Nicholas is Flint Beat’s public health and education reporter. He joins the team as he graduates from Santa Clara University, Calif. Nicholas has previously reported on dementia and brain health, as...

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