CDC authorise Pfizer boosters for 16- and 17-year-olds

pharmafile | December 10, 2021 | News story | Medical Communications  

The FDA and CDC have authorised booster vaccinations of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for teenagers aged 16 and 17. The FDA expanded the EUA for Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster vaccination to include teenagers, six months after they have received the second shot of the vaccine. The move makes millions of teenagers eligible for an additional shot.

In November 2021, the FDA authorised a booster vaccine for emergency use in those aged 18 years and older, who had received primary vaccine series with the Pfizer-BioNTech series of other authorised shots, including Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Nearly 50 million people in the US, around one quarter of those fully vaccinated, have received additional vaccines.

The decision arrives as an initial wave of laboratory tests have suggested that the recently-discovered, transmissible variant, Omicron, was resilient against the immune response brought on by two courses of Pfizer vaccination.

“Today’s decision by the FDA to further expand the Emergency Use Authorisation of a booster dose of our COVID-19 vaccine is a critical milestone as we continue to stay vigilant in addressing the virus,” Pfizer chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said. “While new variants, including Omicron, emerge across the globe, we believe that the best way to minimise the spread of COVID-19 and any future variants is getting all eligible people fully vaccinated with the first two-dose series and a booster dose as recommended.”

Studies have shown that individuals receiving a booster dose following the initial two-dose vaccine regimen had a relative vaccine efficacy of 95%, in comparison with those who did not receive the booster.

Data shows that around 3 million 16- to 17-year-olds in the United States got their second shot of Pfizer at least six months ago, and will be eligible for a third shot this month.

Ana Ovey

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