CDC formalizes immunization schedule, adds COVID-19 vaccines for adults and children

by Jacob Fuller

Lauren Dempsey, MS in Biomedicine and Law, RN, FISM News 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated immunization schedules for both children and adults last week, adding COVID-19 vaccines to the recommended schedule. This decision formalizes the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) unanimous decision to add the vaccine in October.

According to the new guidelines, children ages 6 months to 4 years old should be vaccinated with a two-dose series of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech monovalent COVID-19 vaccine followed by a third dose of a bivalent vaccine. The recommendation is the same for children aged 5 to 11 years old, while it is recommended that children aged 12 and older receive two doses of the Moderna, Pfizer, or Novavax vaccine followed by a bivalent booster.

The CDC also recommends one dose of the updated booster for everyone ages 5 and older, if they are at least two months out since their last dose.


Last Wednesday, during a congressional hearing on the Biden administration’s COVID-19 response, Rep. Dan Crenshaw questioned why the agency decided to break from its own “public health norms by deciding to add the COVID-19 vaccine, including those under emergency use authorization (EUA) to the childhood immunization schedule,” despite the fact that children are at very low risk and the vaccine is not very effective at preventing transmission and can result in serious side effects.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensk  responded that the only reason that the ACIP voted to add COVID-19 vaccines to the childhood schedule was to ensure that under or uninsured children would have access to the vaccines through the Vaccines for Children program. This is a federally funded program that provides vaccines for children at no cost.


Adding COVID-19 vaccines to the CDC’s recommended immunization schedule signifies that COVID-19 is here to stay, and many experts are hoping that it normalizes the idea of COVID-19 vaccines for everyone, despite safety concerns and lack of vaccine efficacy. 

Dr. Neil Murthy and Dr. A. Patricia Wodi said in a statement that this decision “sends a powerful message to both healthcare providers and the general public that everyone ages 6 months and older should stay up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccines (including a booster, when eligible), just as they would with any other routinely recommended vaccine.”


While the CDC does not have the authority to set vaccine requirements or mandates itself, the agency’s immunization schedule provides formal guidance for state and local public health officials and is also used by physicians to make vaccine recommendations.

When the ACIP initially voted to add COVID-19 vaccines to the childhood immunization schedule Dr. Nirav Shah, an ACIP member and Director of Maine’s CDC, explained that “the decision around school entrance for vaccines rests where it did before, which is with the state level, the county level, and at the municipal level.”

Dr. Robert Malone warns that the updated guidance could be used to enforce mandates by health officials and physicians.

“State public health systems use the schedule to determine which vaccines to require for children to enter schools.” He added that while some states have exemptions, “the ACIP functionally establishes ‘standard of care’ in this area,” Dr. Malone wrote on Substack.

Mary Holland, President of Children’s Health Defense and general counsel, called the decision “horrifying, especially considering all that we have learned about the dangers and ineffectiveness of COVID-19 shots over the last two years.”

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman of the board and chief legal counsel for Children’s Health Defense echoed these sentiments.

“This reckless action is final proof of the cynicism, corruption, and capture of a once exemplary public health agency. ACIP members have again demonstrated that fealty to their pharma overlords eclipses any residual concerns they may harbor for child welfare or public health. He added “This is an act of child abuse on a massive scale,” Kennedy said.