The Phoenix Flyer

FDA gives okay for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine boosters for kids 12 to 15

By: - January 3, 2022 1:37 pm

Teenager getting vaccinated. Credit: Getty Images.

With COVID-19 cases skyrocketing in Florida and the nation, kids from ages 12 through 15 will likely be able to get booster shots soon, based on an initial okay from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The final decision will come from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A press release by the FDA on Monday provided info on three main issues:

/Expand the use of a single booster dose to include use in individuals 12 through 15 years of age.

/Shorten the time between the completion of primary vaccination of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and a booster dose to at least five months.

/Allow for a third primary series dose for certain immunocompromised children 5 through 11 years of age.

A press release Monday by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Inc., touted that the adolescent booster is the “first emergency use authorization in the United States.”

In addition, the company stated that Pfizer and BioNTech plan to expand vaccines to low and middle-income countries.

“As of December 29, 2021, Pfizer and BioNTech have delivered 1 billion doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to low- and middle-income countries. The companies expect to deliver an additional 1 billion doses to these nations in 2022,” the news release stated.

“These doses are part of Pfizer and BioNTech’s previously announced pledge to provide 2 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to low- and middle-income countries between 2021 and 2022.”

As COVID cases rise, particularly in Florida, the DeSantis administration has continued to be against vaccine and mask mandates, among other measures that could ward off COVID.

But acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said Monday in a statement that: “Throughout the pandemic, as the virus that causes COVID-19 has continuously evolved, the need for the FDA to quickly adapt has meant using the best available science to make informed decisions with the health and safety of the American public in mind.

“With the current wave of the omicron variant, it’s critical that we continue to take effective, life-saving preventative measures such as primary vaccination and boosters, mask wearing and social distancing to in order to effectively fight COVID-19.”

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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.