The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the use of a booster COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12-15.
The FDA on Monday (3/1) said it had renewed its authorization for emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech booster injections, to include children.
In a statement, the FDA said it had also shortened the gap between the two main vaccination shots and booster shots from six to five months.
The agency said it was taking the step to help provide better protection against the delta and omicron variants that cause COVID-19.
Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is the only vaccine authorized by the FDA for children under 18 years of age.
The FDA on Monday (3/1) also authorized a third dose of the vaccine for children ages 5-11 with certain immune system disorders.
He said the potential efficacy of additional doses in children aged 5-11 years was obtained from data collected from use in adults. The new authorization comes as many US schoolchildren return to class on Monday (3/1) after the year-end holidays.
But before the change can take effect, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must first ratify it. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is expected to endorse the authorization this week. [vm/lt]