COVID-19 vaccines are now included among the routine shots recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for children, adolescents and adults.
The 2023 list includes shots for the flu, measles, mumps, rubella, polio and other inoculations.
The vaccine schedule represents the current recommendations for people as a regular part of their vaccinations against common infectious diseases. It does not mean the CDC is requiring a COVID-19 shot for children or that schools will have to require that students receive the shot before enrolling, according to a report in The Hill.
The CDC does not have the authority to mandate vaccines; that decision is left up to states and local jurisdictions, the report noted. As an example, the report cited the flu vaccine, which has long been on the schedule of recommended childhood immunizations, but hardly any state actually mandates it for public schools.
Under the new guidelines, healthy children 6 months to 4 years old should receive a primary series of two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech monovalent COVID-19 vaccine followed by a third dose of a bivalent vaccine. Children 5 to 11 years old should receive two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine followed by a bivalent shot, the report said.