DORAL, FL – The US Food and Drug Administration has given its green light on Tuesday to allow children ages 5 to 11 to obtain a COVID-19 booster of Pfizer/BioNTech.
The permission granted was for emergency use of a third dose at least five months following the completion of the first two.
The decision makes all Americans 5 and older to now be eligible for at least one booster dose. More than eight million of the 28 million children in that age group in the U.S. have received two vaccine shots.
“While it has largely been the case that COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children than adults, the omicron wave has seen more kids getting sick with the disease and being hospitalized, and children may also experience longer term effects, even following initially mild disease,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said in a news release Tuesday.
Pfizer requested the emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 booster in April after completing a vaccine trial with 4,500 children ages 5 through 11 years of age. According to Pfizer’s statement, the data collected showed that a third vaccine dose raised Omicron-fighting antibodies by 36 times in this age group.
Moderna has also requested FDA authorization for a second Covid-19 booster shot for all Americans 18 and older, but a decision is yet to be made about that request. Those who are 50 and older and people 12 and older who have certain kinds of immunocompromise are eligible for two booster doses.
Now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet on Thursday to make a final decision about whether or not they recommend the booster.
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