HOUSTON (KIAH) Pfizer has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize their updated COVID-19 booster shot for children ages 5 to 11. But, when will the shot be ready and should kids wait for it?

Updated boosters by Pfizer and Moderna rolled out earlier this month for everyone 12 and older. This week, The FDA began reviewing data from Pfizer for the younger group of kids 5 and up. Moderna is still in the process of submitting their necessary data on kids ages 6 to 17.

During a live streamed webinar hosted by the Covid-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project, U.S. health officials gave a timeline of when these shots would be available for children ages 5 to 11.

“I’m confident that we’re only a matter of weeks away.”

Dr. Peter Marks, Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER)

If the FDA agrees, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) anticipates in their updated Fall Vaccination Operational Planning Guide (dated September 20, 2022) that kid-sized doses of the new omicron-targeted formula could be authorized by early to mid-October. However, this recommendation is only for certain children.

“There are a lot of kids ages five to 11 out there who haven’t had their primary series so you can’t get the updated booster until you’ve had the primary series,” said Dr. Marks.

As for the youngest group, children under the age of 5, Dr. Marks added their updated shots are still months away.

Meanwhile, the wait time is leaving many parents wondering if they should get children boosted or wait for the update bivalent shot? From the perspective at CDC, Dr. Meyer says parents shouldn’t wait.

“You just never know when you’re going to when you might be exposed or when you might get sick. And we know that children are getting sick, they’re they’re going to the hospital. And there are sadly children who have died from COVID,” said Dr. Sarah Meyer, Chief Medical Officer, CDC’s Immunization Services Division.