FDA expected to authorize Pfizer boosters for ages 12 to 15: report

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to approve booster shots of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds on Monday, people familiar with the agency’s plan told The New York Times.

In addition to that broadened policy, the FDA also intends to announce that both children and adults could seek their booster shot five months after their second dose, instead of the previously advised six months. Immunocompromised children ages 5 to 11 are also expected to be allowed boosters, according to the Times.

The Times reported that the vaccine advisory committee for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is set to meet next week to vote on approving the FDA’s policy changes, which CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is expected to endorse. 

The change in policy comes as the U.S. and the world endure soaring COVID-19 case rates fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant, discovered last month in South Africa.  

At present, over 73 percent of the U.S. population 12 years and older is vaccinated, according to the CDC

While younger groups are less likely to suffer severe illness from COVID-19 infections, medical experts have continued to urge vaccination for all eligible people, including children.

“Virtually all, not 100 percent but close to that, the children who are seriously ill in our hospitals from COVID-19 are children whose parents decided they did not want to vaccinate them,” Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said Thursday in an appearance on NewsNation’s “Morning in America.”

“That is avoidable,” he added.

Tags Anthony Fauci Joe Biden Rochelle Walensky

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