CDC Approves Pfizer/BioNTech Booster Shots for Ages 12-15

Booster eligibility
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday that booster shots from Pfizer and BioNTech are now available to children aged 12 to 15, Reuters reports.

The decision came after a panel of independent experts assisting the CDC decided earlier this year to propose that coronavirus vaccine booster doses be made accessible to children aged 12 to 15.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took a vote and approved the recommendation with 13 to 1 votes, that booster injections be given to children aged 12 to 15 at least five months following their second shot.

The CDC’s guideline for booster shots for ages 16 and 17 should also be strengthened, according to the group. The organization had previously offered the injections to those youngsters but had made no mention of recommending that they all get the extra shot.

Given the recent rise in instances, Dr. Peter Marks, a leading regulator at the US Food and Drug Administration, believes it is fair to expand the booster shots to 12- to 15-year-olds.

The FDA had approved the extra dosages for the age group on Monday, but the CDC had to approve the injections before they could be given out.

Some experts are concerned about the booster doses because of rare incidences of myocarditis, a kind of heart inflammation associated to both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, especially in young male recipients.

While evidence on myocarditis after booster shots for individuals aged 12 to 15 is limited, the FDA has said that research from the United States and Israel shows that the risk of myocarditis in males aged 18-40 is much lower following booster doses than after the second vaccination shot.

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