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Press Releases

NYC Health + Hospitals Now Offers the COVID-19 Bivalent Booster for Children as Young as 6 Months of Age

Children 6 months to 4 years of age who completed their primary series of the monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine more than two months ago can now get the bivalent single-dose booster

Additionally, the CDC recently added COVID-19 vaccines to the child immunization schedule

NYC Health + Hospitals patients can schedule an appointment directly with their family’s pediatrician; Not a patient? Call 844-NYC-4NYC for an appointment

Mar 30, 2023

NYC Health + Hospitals today announced that it now offers the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine as a single-dose booster to children 6 months to 4 years of age who completed their primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech monovalent vaccine at least two months ago. Children in this age group were previously not eligible for a booster shot because the primary monovalent series still offered protection against the most serious outcomes from the newest variants. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently added COVID-19 vaccines to the child immunization schedule, which means parents will no longer have to make a separate vaccine appointment with their family’s pediatrician. Beginning at 6 months, the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series with the bivalent vaccine as the third dose will be part of the immunization schedule, meaning it will be administered along with other vaccinations usually given at this age. Vaccines help children develop immunity and provides them with protection against severe illness and death from COVID-19 and other diseases. NYC Health + Hospitals offers the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for children at the pediatric practices at all of its 11 public hospitals. New Yorkers can call 844-NYC-4NYC to schedule an appointment.

“The best way out of this pandemic is by making sure that everyone in your family, even the little ones, have the most updated protection against COVID-19,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “Most New Yorkers have completed their primary series. We have to keep that momentum going. The vaccine is safe and effective for people of all ages.”

“As the virus continues to mutate and pose new challenges to our public health, it’s important that parents use whatever tools necessary to shield their kids from the worst COVID-19 outcomes,” NYC Health + Hospitals Ambulatory Care Chief Medical Officer Andrew B. Wallach, MD, FACP. “It appears the worst is over but we are not in the clear yet. This virus is still very real and the youngest New Yorkers are always at a higher risk of infection because their immune systems are not fully developed.”

The Pfizer-BioNTech primary series for babies and toddlers is three doses. The first two shots are the original, monovalent vaccine given three to eight weeks apart. The third dose is the updated, bivalent vaccine and it is given at least eight weeks after the second. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster in children who received a bivalent vaccine for the third dose in the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. Children will be closely monitored for 15 minutes after each dose in the event of a rare allergic reaction. Children may experience similar side effects of vaccination as adults, with usually mild effects lasting one to two days.

MEDIA CONTACT: 212-788-3339; PressOffice@nychhc.org

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.