CDC adds COVID-19 vaccinations to immunization schedules
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took a big step forward in protecting Americans, voting unanimously to add COVID-19 vaccinations to their immunization schedule. This includes making the vaccine available to children, adolescents and adults through the Vaccines for Children Program, which provides free immunizations to those eligible for Medicaid, uninsured or underinsured, and members of the nation’s Indigenous population.
Right now, the CDC reports that around 85% of adults in the US have received their primary COVID-19 shots, yet only about a third have had the booster. Unfortunately, 12% remain unvaccinated. The same can be said for children 6 months to 17 years old, who only had a third of them fully vaccinated, and over 90% of those 6 months to 4 years who haven’t even had a single shot yet.
Let’s take a closer look at how this new recommendation could affect you and your loved ones.
COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for all ages
The CDC has now formally included COVID-19 vaccinations for kids, teens, and adults in their immunization calendar. These updates reflect the current agency suggestions, providing healthcare providers and schools with the appropriate guidance.
It is important to note that the CDC’s vaccination schedule does not mandate vaccines. Each state and locality sets the vaccines that schools require, with all 50 states providing medical exemptions and some states offering non-medical exemptions based on religious or philosophical values.
The CDC recommends that healthy children from the age of 6 months to 4 years old should get two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech monovalent COVID-19 vaccine first, followed by a third dose of a bivalent vaccine. For children aged 5-12, they should also have two doses of either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccines and then get a bivalent shot.
Children aged 12 and above should receive either two doses of the Moderna, Pfizer or Novavax vaccine followed by a bivalent booster. At the moment, only Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech provide updated bivalent shots that can target coronavirus variants that were widely prevalent last autumn.
Immunocompromised children should get three doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as a primary series instead of two and should be given a bivalent booster as well.
Remember, pediatric vaccines come in smaller doses than adult vaccines, and in all cases, the CDC suggests that children should receive doses appropriate for their age.
Healthy adults should get a primary COVID-19 immunization made up of two shots of the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Novavax vaccine and a bivalent booster, similar to children. Novavax boosters are available for adults who do not want the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shot, or cannot get those boosters.
Adults with weakened immune systems should have either two doses of the Novavax vaccine or three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine plus a bivalent booster.
The CDC suggests that adults who had the single-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson together with one booster dose, should be followed by a bivalent booster.
Get your COVID shots today!
COVID-19 is still a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. Nao Medical has a caring and dedicated team that offers a variety of COVID-19 services, including vaccines, antibody blood tests, rapid antigen tests, and more. Let’s all do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect our communities.