(December 21, 2022): The COVID-19 omicron booster vaccine is now available for children ages six months to five years, offering additional protection against the virus for our youngest populations and therefore helping reduce the spread and risk of severe illness from COVID-19 throughout our communities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the use of Pfizer bivalent COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months through 4 years, and Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months through 5 years.

While COVID-19 cases have leveled or declined statewide and in Archuleta and La Plata counties in recent weeks, holiday gatherings provide an opportunity for the virus to circulate. The spread of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the flu, and COVID-19 is elevated at this time.

Receiving an omicron booster is an effective way to protect yourself, your families and our communities. Vaccines are the safest, most effective way to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death caused by COVID-19 and its variants. It remains especially important for older adults and high-risk individuals to be up to date on vaccinations during the winter when more activities move indoors and spread of respiratory illnesses increases.

Children in this age group are recommended to receive an omicron vaccine after receiving two doses of the original COVID-19 vaccines. The omicron vaccine must be the same brand as the vaccines they previously received.

  • Children 6 months through 5 years who have completed the two-dose Moderna primary vaccine series may receive a single Moderna omicron dose at least two months after their primary series completion.
  • Children 6 months through 4 years who have either not started or completed the three-dose Pfizer primary vaccine series may receive a single Pfizer omicron dose as the third dose in the Pfizer primary series.
  • Children 6 months through 4 years who already received the three-dose Pfizer primary vaccine series are not recommended to receive the omicron vaccine at this time. Data to support giving an omicron dose to this subset of children are expected in January

People ages five and older who have received their primary COVID-19 vaccine doses and any numberof booster doses should also receive an omicron dose at least two months after completing their primary series or their most recent dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. People who recently had COVID-19may wait up to three months after testing positive or first started feeling symptoms before scheduling an omicron booster. Talk to your child’s pediatrician for guidance.

The COVID-19 omicron booster, including for children ages six months to five years, is availablelocally through medical providers, SJBPH clinics and at CDPHE’s mobile vaccine clinics held throughout the region. To find a vaccine, contact your medical provider or pharmacy, visit vaccines.gov or call Colorado’s Vaccine Hotline (877- 268-2926). Find locations of the CDPHE mobile vaccine clinic and book an appointment at this link.

There is free community PCR testing available at the La Plata County Fairgrounds from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday and Saturday. At-home tests are available freeat the SJBPH offices in both Durango and Pagosa Springs. At-home tests can also be ordered through the federal government at this link: https://www.covid.gov/tests.  More information about testing is available on SJBPH’s website.

KN95 masks are also available at SJBPH front desks in Durango and Pagosa Springs.

COVID-19 treatments are available if you test positive. You should get treatment as soon as possiblewhen you start to feel symptoms. If you are at high risk and have COVID-19, ask your health care provider about treatment as soon as you can. Telehealth is also an option for receiving treatment. Learn more about how to access COVID-19 treatments via the State of Colorado or SJBPH.