BREAKING NEWS: FDA to greenlight Pfizer COVID-19 booster for children aged 12 to 15 on Monday, report says
- The FDA plans to allow for children aged 12 to 15 to receive the Pfizer COVID booster shot on Monday, according to a New York Times report
- The Omicron COVID-19 variant is tearing across the U.S., and is believed to be resistant to the initial vaccine regimens
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to allow for children aged 12 to 15 to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster in the new year, according to a report by the New York Times.
Currently the Pfizer booster is only available to people as young as 16, though children as young as five are eligible for the initial two-dose regimen.
The Omicron COVID-19 variant accounts for anywhere between 40 percent to 73 percent of new cases in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and has found to be resistant to the initial two-dose vaccine regiments.
Boosters are believed to be able to re-establish vaccine protection against infection from Omicron, though, leading to a larger nationwide push to getting more Americans the additional shots.
The Pfizer Covid vaccine is the most commonly used shot in the United States, and is also the most administered booster.
The company’s shot, which is a joint effort with the German company BioNTech, has fully vaccinated 115 million Americans, and been used 34 million times as a booster dose.
Pfizer’s vaccine is the only one available to minors in America, with the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots only having received approval for adults 18 and older in the U.S. so far.
The additional booster shot will be available to the newly approved age group six months after receiving the second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna shot, or two months after the J&J shot.
It is the same schedule followed by other age groups when receiving a booster shot.
After the FDA gives authorization on Monday, the CDC’s advisory committee will meet Wednesday, and discuss the merits of the additional shots in children as young as 12.
If the committee agrees with the FDA, it will approve the authorization and the agency will revise the vaccine authorization to include the younger age group.
The Omicron Covid variant is competing with the Delta variant to be the dominant virus strain in the U.S.
Per the most recent CDC data, the variant accounted for between 40 percent and 73 percent of active cases in the U.S. last week, with Delta making up almost all of the remainders.
Data from multiple sources finds that initial Covid vaccine regimens were not effective against the new strain – which is the most mutated version of the virus detected yet.
Booster shots are believed to be able to re-establish a large portion of immunity provided by the original shots, though.
This story is being updated