SACRAMENTO – Today, California Health & Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, and Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, issued a joint statement on the emergency use authorization of the updated COVID-19 boosters in the United States. Eligibility for the Moderna bivalent booster now extends to individuals 6 years of age and older and eligibility for the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster now extends to individuals 5 years of age and older. This statement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommendation and has the support of the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.
"We are happy to announce that the updated boosters are now available for children as young as 5 years old. These boosters are safe and have been formulated to provide better protection not only against the original coronavirus strain, but also against the subvariants that continue to infect many, including the youngest amongst us.
As is true of the other COVID-19 vaccine and booster doses, the updated boosters were designed to protect individuals from the worst outcomes of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death. With the authorization of the updated booster to individuals as young as 5, we're even closer to ensuring the whole family is protected as we head into the fall and winter when the spread of respiratory viruses is at its peak."
Everyone 5+ who has had their primary series vaccinations is eligible to get the updated booster 2 months following any COVID vaccine or booster dose.
In keeping with the SMARTER plan, the state is prepared to begin offering the strongest, most protective booster dose to all eligible Californians now. We encourage all Californians to talk to your doctor, go to MyTurn.ca.gov or call 833-422-4255 to find a vaccine or booster appointment near you.