The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 booster shots for 12-15 year old next week. Sources familiar with the decision said on Thursday that the booster will be recommended five months after the older children receive their second vaccine, instead of the six months currently advised for adults. Additionally, the FDA is expected to authorize a booster shot for younger children, ages 5 to 11, who have compromised immune systems.
After the FDA officially makes its recommendation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to make its own decision on booster shots for adolescents. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told CNN: “Of course, the CDC will swiftly follow as soon as we hear from them, and I’m hoping to have that in the days to weeks ahead.” The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is expected to meet by the middle of next week to vote on whether to make a recommendation.
Currently, everyone 5 years old and older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals 18 years old and older can receive a booster shot, and 16- and 17-year-olds are eligible to receive a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot, according to the CDC.
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