• COVID-19 Vaccine

    Updated December 9, 2022

    COVID-19 vaccines offer high levels of protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death—especially for people who receive vaccine boosters. People ages 6 months and older who are not yet vaccinated should get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccination remains a priority as new variants appear to be more infectious than prior strains.

    The Latest: CDC Expands Updated COVID-19 Vaccines to Include Children Ages 6 Months through 5 Years

    On Dec. 9, the CDC expanded the use of updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months through 5 years.

    • Children ages 6 months through 5 years who previously completed a Moderna primary series are eligible to receive a Moderna bivalent booster 2 months after their final primary series dose.
    • Children ages 6 months through 4 years who are currently completing a Pfizer primary series will receive a Pfizer bivalent vaccine as their third primary dose.

    Updated COVID-19 vaccines are formulated to protect against some of the more recently circulating viruses.

    ASPR Offers Single-Dose Vial Presentation for Pfizer (12+) Updated COVID-19 Vaccine

    At the encouragement of many national health organizations, HHS opened ordering to jurisdictional and federal entity administration partners for a limited amount of the updated (bivalent) Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people 12 years of age or older in single-dose vials. The single-dose vials provide administration partners with greater flexibility in their vaccine distribution strategy. This limited rollout expands the number of locations that offer the updated vaccine. 

    CDC Allows Use of Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine as Single Booster Dose

    A one-dose Novavax COVID-19 monovalent booster vaccine is recommended for persons 18 years and older six months after completion of any approved or emergency use authorized monovalent primary series. This booster can be used for:

    • Individuals 18 years and older for whom an FDA authorized mRNA bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine is not accessible or clinically appropriate. 
    • Individuals 18 years of age and older who elect to receive the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted because they would otherwise not receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

    CDC, FDA Authorizes Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccines for Use as a Booster Dose in Younger Age Groups

    On Oct. 12, the FDA and CDC authorized the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 bivalent boosters in younger age groups for better protection against COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant. This booster can be given at least two months following completion of primary or booster vaccination in children down to six years of age. The AAFP is reviewing the recommendation and will provide resources to help you ensure your eligible patients get vaccinated.   

    Clinical Guidance: Practice Planning for Spread of COVID-19 and Influenza Viruses

    A new clinical guidance sheet from the AAFP can help you prepare for the 2022-2023 influenza and COVID-19 season. It provides an overview of recommendations and guidance for vaccination, diagnosis, testing, and treatment of patients for influenza, COVID-19, or both.

    CDC Recommends Moderna, Pfizer Omicron Variant-specific COVID-19 Boosters

    The CDC has approved the amended EUAs of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to authorize bivalent formulations for use as a single booster dose at least 2 months following primary or booster vaccination. These contain an mRNA component of the original strain of SARS-CoV-2, and an mRNA component common to Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.

    • Pfizer/BioNTech - a single booster dose in individuals ages 12 years and older.
    • Moderna - a single booster dose in adults ages 18 years and older.

    The updated boosters are not intended for initial vaccination against COVID-19. Read more in AAFP Supports Use of Updated COVID-19 Booster Shots.

    CDC Releases Fall 2022 Vaccination Operational Planning Guide

    This planning guide offers information for the Fall vaccine campaign, including vivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster doses. The goal for Fall 2022 is to maximize availability and improve uptake across age groups to ensure widespread protection against circulating strains. 

    CDC Extends Use of Novavax as COVID-19 Vaccine Option to Ages 12 and Older

    On Aug. 24, the CDC recommended the two-dose Novavax, an alternate COVID-19 vaccine for use in people 12 and older. The Novavax vaccine provides another option for people who do not want the mRNA vaccine. Learn more in:

    ACIP Releases COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations

    On July 28, ACIP shared updated COVID-19 vaccine recommendations, which have been published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

    Conversation with the White House: What to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids Under 5

    Watch this Q&A session with Dr. Sterling Ransone, AAFP president and Dr. Cameron Webb, White House COVID-19 Response Team senior advisor.

    They cover multiple topics, including: 


    • How vaccination efforts for young children are going.
    • Why immunization rates are declining for children and how the administration is responding.
    • The latest guidance on COVID-19 booster shots and therapeutics, especially Paxlovid.
    • The upcoming influenza season, with a focus on flu vaccines.

    CDC Approves Use of Moderna (Spikevax) COVID-19 Vaccine for Ages 6-17

    After a thorough review by the CDC, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine can now be used as an additional option for children ages 6 through 17 years. It is already recommended for use in children 6 months through 5 years and adults 18 years and older. The AAFP has reviewed and approved the recommendation to prevent serious illness in this age group.  

    • 6-11 years: A two-dose Moderna COVID-19 vaccine series (50µg) is recommended.
    • 12-17 years: A two-dose Moderna COVID-19 vaccine series (100µg) is recommended.
    • 6-17 years who are immunocompromised: should receive a third dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after the second dose.

    Read the CDC's Overview and Safety for more information.

    Lower COVID-19 Immunizations Rates in Children, Teens Remain a Concern

    The fully vaccinated rate for children 5-11 is currently around 28.8%.  The CDC recently released resources to promote the COVID-19 vaccine for children and teens

    CDC Recommends COVID-19 Vaccines for Young Children Down to 6 Months 

    Following a rigorous evidence review, both the FDA and the CDC determined the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are safe and effective for the prevention of COVID-19 in children 6 months through 5 years. On June 18, the CDC approved the recommendation, which means that all people ages 6 months and older are eligible for vaccination. They can be vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines to better protect them from COVID-19. 

    The CDC has updated the Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines to include information on these age groups. This includes a revised pediatric vaccination schedule, formulation and dosage, administration and patient counseling guidance. You can also reference the At-a-Glance COVID-19 Vaccine Schedule as a tool for patient conversations.

    For the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, the EUA includes use of the vaccine in individuals 6 months through 17 years of age. The vaccine had been authorized for use in adults 18 years of age and older.

    For the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, the EUA includes use of the vaccine in individuals 6 months through 4 years of age. The vaccine had been authorized for use in individuals 5 years of age and older. 

    The AAFP has approved the recommendation and issued a statement to show support. The AAFP Commends FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization of COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Under Age Five

    Virus mutations are common, and SARS-CoV-2 variants continue being detected. The CDC is monitoring these variants and tracking spread across the U.S., as well as the effect on infection and disease. Researchers are also checking vaccine effectiveness against the different variants. 

    As of Nov. 30, the CDC recognized Omicron as a new variant of concern. There aren't a lot of details at this time. They will continue tracking the mutation and its impact. 

    This past summer and fall, the Delta variant spread faster and caused more infections. According to the CDC, it has 

    • Increased transmissibility29
    • Potential reduction in neutralization by some EUA monoclonal antibody treatments 7, 14
    • Potential reduction in neutralization by post-vaccination sera 21

    It is important to note that all the variants appear to have increased efficiency in spreading from person to person so the use of mitigation measures like masks, ventilation, hand washing, physical distancing, and quarantine are paramount. A Variant Classification scheme that defines three classes of SARS-CoV-2 variants has been developed and information for the different variants is provided at the links below:

    The B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma), B.1.427 (Epsilon), B.1.429 (Epsilon), and B.1.617.2 (Delta) variants circulating in the United States are classified as variants of concern. Use the CDC's map to see where the different variants are found in the U.S.

    COVID-19 vaccines with EUAs for booster doses and pediatric vaccines. 

    See the CDC's effectiveness overview

    • COVID-19 Vaccination During Pregnancy Is Key to Saving Lives: This joint statement reinforces that pregnant individuals are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection, ICU admission, and death, as well as adverse pregnancy outcomes. If an individual is pregnant, the best way to protect themselves and their pregnancy against the potential harm.
    • CDC Recommends Pregnant People Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19: Growing evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy demonstrates that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks. 
    • COVID-19 Vaccines in Pregnancy: With more than 20 health care organizations, the AAFP strongly urges individuals who are pregnant, recently pregnant, planning to become pregnant or lactating to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 



    Coding and Payment

    The American Medical Association continues publishing COVID-19 vaccine and administration codes. Their unique structure allows for tracking and accommodating multiple COVID-19 vaccines.  

    CDC's COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

    Check out information on the CDC's COVID-19 site, including:

    Expect updates to this site, plus CDC’s Vaccination and Immunization site, as more information is available. It's critical that jurisdictions and federal entities receiving vaccine have information to implement an effective COVID-19 vaccination program.