Thursday, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s endorsement, arrived hours after, the Food and Drug Administration extends the eligibility for Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 booster shot for ages 16 to17 years old.
Pfizer’s Coronavirus Booster Shots For Ages 16 and 17
The CDC’s suggestion for ages 16 to 17 years old comes just hours after the Food and Drug Administration expanded the eligibility for Pfizer and BioNTech’s booster shot to that age bracket. The step comes amid a surge of infections nationwide due to the Delta variant as well as the newly discovered Omicron variant.
Moreover, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement that the Omicron variant still lacks information but the initial data suggests that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen the protection against the new strain and other variants. In addition, Walensky said that “I strongly encourage that teens age 16 and 17 to get their booster if they are eligible of at least 6 months from their initial second dose of Pfizer vaccination”.
However, the Covid-19 vaccines that exist today are not yet fully determine how well they hold up against the newly found Omicron variant. Moreover, the initial data from Pfizer and the lab result in South Africa appears that 2 doses of vaccine plus a booster seem to offer more highly significant neutralizing antibodies.
Pfizer is the Only Authorized Vaccine for Ages Under 18
Pfizer is currently the only vaccine authorized for under the age of 18. In addition, The vaccine has been approved for children as young as 5, although boosters were only available for adults. Other booster shots from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are also authorized for adults. However, several states are decided to open the boosters’ eligibility to all ages, regardless of FDA action.
On Thursday, the FDA said that the benefits of a booster towards ages 16 to 17 years old outweighed the risks of myocarditis, a rare inflammatory heart condition that has been observed primarily in young men after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccine.