DORAL, FL – Pfizer boosters for children ages 12 to 15 are now encouraged as the Food and Drug Administration gave green light on Monday for younger people to get the additional shot five months after their last dose.
Vaccinations for this population opened last May, which means those who received early doses are probably ready for a third dose by now.
This is another step taken by health authorities to fight the coronavirus amid the omicron variant that up until now has been the most contagious one even among children, whose hospitalizations are rising in the current times, most of them in unvaccinated patients.
According to the CDC, vaccines still offer strong protection against serious illnesses from COVID-19 but are also effective for those with less severe infections. For this, all health authorities are urging everyone who’s eligible to get a booster dose.
Booster doses from Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, the only vaccine available in the U.S. for children of any age, have been recommended for 16- and 17-year-olds since early December, and about 13.5 million 12- to 17-year-olds have received two Pfizer shots, according to the CDC.
Regarding younger populations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are evaluating whether to recommend boosters for them or not and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s director, is expected to rule this later this week.
Vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11 were approved in November and it is believed healthy youngsters can be protected with only the first two doses. However, the FDA said Monday that children of that age with severely weakened immune systems, will be allowed a third dose 28 days after their second.
Pfizer is studying its vaccine, in even smaller doses, for children younger than 5.
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