SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) announces that healthcare providers and pharmacies will soon begin offering Omicron variant-targeted bivalent booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 6 months and older. This follows guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New Mexico hospitals have been hit hard by COVID, flu and RSV with a record number of pediatric hospitalizations from respiratory viruses, but vaccines are a safe way to protect you and your loved ones with an extra level of protection from severe illness. Additionally, flu vaccines are available to everyone 6 months and older at provider offices and pharmacies across the state. Flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be safely given at the same time.
“This is great news as more children have the opportunity to get the most up-to-date protection from COVID-19 variants,” said DOH Deputy Secretary Dr. Laura Parajon. “Vaccines are our best defense against severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID. Now is the time to make sure the entire family is up-to-date so we can have the best protection for the winter holidays.”
DOH urges all parents and guardians of children ages 6 months and older to prioritize vaccinating their children with the updated booster dose if eligible, or starting the COVID-19 vaccine series if they have yet to begin.
What parents and caregivers need to know:
- Children 6 months through 5 years of age who received the original Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are now eligible to receive a single booster of the updated Moderna COVID-19 vaccine two months after completing a primary series.
- Children 6 months through 4 years of age who have not yet received the third dose of their primary series will now receive the updated Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as the third dose in their primary series.
- Children 6 months through 4 years of age who have already completed their three-dose primary series with the original Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will not be eligible for a booster dose at this time. Children in this age group who already completed their primary series would still be expected to have protection against the most serious outcomes from the currently circulating omicron variant.
Pediatric-focused COVID-19 boosters are arriving in the state this week. Parents and caregivers can register their children or dependents for vaccination by scheduling online at: VaccineNM.org and adding them to their own vaccine profile. Parents and caregivers can also call their provider or pharmacy to check for appointments. Vaccinations are free. No identification is required to be vaccinated, and vaccines are available to New Mexicans regardless of immigration status.