FDA authorizes boosters for ages 16 and 17 ahead of holidays, omicron [Updated]

FDA authorizes boosters for ages 16 and 17 ahead of holidays, omicron [Updated]



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FDA authorizes boosters for ages 16 and 17 ahead of holidays, omicron [Updated]
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Update 12/9/2021, 2:55 pm ET: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has signed off on the FDA’s authorization and now recommends booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for teenagers ages 16 and 17. This closing step now implies that boosting on this group can start nationwide.

“Although we don’t have all the answers on the omicron variant, initial data suggests that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen the protection against Omicron and other variants,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky stated in an announcement. “We know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and I strongly encourage adolescents ages 16 and 17 to get their booster if they are at least six months post their initial Pfizer vaccination series.”

Original Story, 12/9/2021, 12:21pm ET: The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday licensed the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use as a single booster dose in teenagers ages 16 and 17.

The authorization stands to increase entry to boosters amid a crushing wave of delta transmission, fears over the looming omicron variant, and the method of end-of-year vacation gatherings. Currently, boosters are open and really useful for all adults ages 18 and up.

Earlier this week, a crop of preliminary knowledge instructed that boosters will possible be mandatory to guard towards the omicron variant, which seems to dodge protecting immune defenses from each vaccination and prior an infection. Previously, knowledge indicated that vaccine effectiveness wanes towards delta and earlier variants after six months.

Still, not all consultants agree that boosters are wanted for wholesome younger folks. Youth are inclined to have milder illness than adults, and two doses of vaccine are anticipated to guard towards extreme circumstances. However, teenagers will not be fully proof against the worst outcomes, and they’ll additionally drive transmission of the pandemic virus to extra weak teams.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should log out on the use of the boosters in 16- and 17-year-olds earlier than they are going to be obtainable. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is anticipated to log out shortly.

In asserting its choice Thursday, the FDA emphasised that getting extra photographs in arms is vital to bringing the pandemic to an finish, however different well being prevention measures stay necessary as effectively.

“Vaccination and getting a booster when eligible, along with other preventive measures like masking and avoiding large crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, remain our most effective methods for fighting COVID-19,” performing FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock stated in an announcement. “As people gather indoors with family and friends for the holidays, we can’t let up on all the preventive public health measures that we have been taking during the pandemic. With both the delta and omicron variants continuing to spread, vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19.”

As licensed, the boosters could be obtainable as a single dose given a minimum of six months after the second.

To date, 200 million Americans have been totally vaccinated, which is a little bit over 60 p.c of the nation. Of these, almost 49 million—or 24 p.c—have gotten a booster dose.

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