Photo: Mercy Hospital Springfield

The emergency authorization of the updated mRNA boosters for children 5 and older means the Springfield-Greene County Health Department is pausing the distribution of COVID boosters for children ages 5-11.

“On Oct. 12, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration granted emergency authorization of the updated mRNA boosters for children ages 5 and older,” the Health Department said in a press release. “This authorization comes a month after the approval and distribution of the updated booster for individuals 12 and older.

story continues below

“Due to the emergency authorization, existing vaccine types are no longer authorized as booster doses for children ages 5-11.”

Pause allows boosters to receive full approval

The pause on the boosters will last until the approval process has been completed.

“The updated boosters from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna must now receive authorization from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services before distribution,” the Health Department said. “The approval process is expected to move quickly, but the Health Department cannot give a firm date as to when ages 5 and up can receive their booster at one of its clinics.”

Once approved, the updated Moderna booster will be available for children 6 and up, while the Pfizer/BioNTech dose will be available for ages 5 and older. These booster doses should be administered at least two months after the child’s most recent dose. They are designed to protect against the original COVID-19 strain and the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.

Vaccines still available for individuals 12 and older

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is still offering primary series vaccinations to those who have yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as the updated booster for individuals 12 and older. 

Individuals receiving their first or second dose and their first booster dose at a Health Department clinic will continue to receive a $50 gift card while supplies last. Visit or call 417-874-1211 with all vaccine questions or to check availability.

Jeff Kessinger

Jeff Kessinger covered sports in southwest Missouri for the better part of 20 years, from young athletes to the pros. The Springfield native and Missouri State University alumnus is thrilled to be doing journalism in the Queen City, helping connect the community with important information. He and wife Jamie daily try to keep a tent on the circus that is a blended family of five kids and three cats. More by Jeff Kessinger