CDC Recommends Pfizer's Booster Dose For Children Between 12-15 Years

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has widened the eligibility of Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and BioNTech SE's booster doses to children aged between 12 and 15 years old.

This decision follows advice from a panel which recommended that the CDC make it possible for COVID-19 booster shots be made available for children between 12 to 15 years.

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices or ACIP voted 13 to 1 to recommend that the health agency offer booster shots for those aged 12 to 15 at least five months after they get their second dose. The panel also recommended that the top U.S health agency actively support booster jabs for ages 16 and 17.

The agency had earlier made the shots available to these teenagers, but had not made it compulsory for all to get the booster shots. In a statement, the CDC said it recommends that adolescents age 12 to 17 years old should receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination series. COVID-19 cases in the United States are seeing record highs in recent days due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant. Infection rates are on the rise as many workers and school children return from holiday vacations, raising the probability of overwhelmed health systems and closed businesses and schools.

Commenting on the developments, panel member Dr. Katherine Poehling, a professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Said, "COVID is overwhelming our hospitals and our children's hospitals. This is a tool we need to use, and help our children through this pandemic."

Data from Israel's Health Ministry presented at the meeting suggested that vaccinated children aged 12 to 15 who were five to six months past their second dose were being infected at the same rate as unvaccinated kids by the Omicron variant. However, the infection rate was low among those who received booster dose

The FDA had okayed the extra doses for children aged 12-15 years on Monday but the CDC sign was needed before the shots can be administered. "This booster dose will provide optimized protection against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in the statement.

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