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CDC, FDA recommend updated mRNA boosters for kids

With kids back in school under pre-pandemic conditions and experts bracing for another potential COVID wave, just under 64% of Arizonans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends updated vaccines for children as young as 5.

The CDC decision follows FDA recommendations authorizing updated Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children as young as 5 and 6, respectively.

The shots should be given at least two months after primary or booster vaccinations.

The bivalent vaccines contain components from two strains of the SARS-COV-2 virus: one from the original and one shared by the two omicron lineages behind the fifth COVID-19 wave that began in March.

Although children experienced less severe symptoms in COVID's first wave, subsequent waves have led to sicker kids and more hospitalizations, and long-term effects remain a potential concern.

Nicholas Gerbis was a senior field correspondent for KJZZ from 2016 to 2024.