TUESDAY, Nov. 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Pfizer Inc. is expected to seek approval this week for emergency use of its booster shots among American teens ages 16 to 17 years.
Sources familiar with the matter told The New York Times that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could give the green light in about a week, which would make the Pfizer booster shot the first one available for people younger than 18 years. When asked about plans to expand booster access, a Pfizer spokeswoman told The Times an update would be provided when available.
Booster shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for everyone 18 years and older were authorized about 10 days ago by U.S. health officials. All adults who had received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine were already eligible for a booster.
The move to expand booster availability comes as President Joe Biden tries to keep Americans calm about omicron, a new and troubling variant of the coronavirus. On Monday, he called omicron “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.” Echoing that concern, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday strengthened its recommendations on boosters, urging all Americans aged 18 years and older to get the extra dose for the best protection.
“Today, CDC is strengthening its recommendation on booster doses for individuals who are 18 years and older. Everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot either when they are six months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or two months after their initial J&J vaccine,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, M.D., said in an agency statement. As “scientists in the United States and around the world are urgently examining vaccine effectiveness related to this [omicron] variant, I strongly encourage the 47 million adults who are not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible and to vaccinate the children and teens in their families as well, because strong immunity will likely prevent serious illness.”
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