As the Omicron variant continues to see a record-breaking surge in positive Covid-19 cases, the FDA is expected to make an announcement about Pfizer booster shots for kids between the ages of 12 and 15 years old. While the Food and Drug Administration has not yet released an official statement, inside sources told both The New York Times and CNN that they are expected to greenlight the booster for kids in the coming days.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70% of Americans, or 205 million people over the age of 12 years old are vaccinated. While being fully vaccinated dramatically decreases a person’s chance of getting seriously ill or becoming hospitalized from contracting Covid-19, the new, highly transmissable Omicron variant continues to spread like wildfire across the country. On Wednesday, the United States reported more than 488,000 positive cases of Covid-19, the highest number yet. Pfizer booster shots of the vaccine given six months after the second shot have proven to offer greater protection against the Omicron variant, but until now those boosters were only given to people over the age of 16. To date, 68 million Americans have received their booster shot.
That could be about to change.
On Wednesday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told CNN that the FDA was in the midst of making a decision about boosters for kids between the ages of 12-15, noting that the administration “is looking at that right now. 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.”
According to The New York Times, the FDA is expected to announce approval for Pfizer booster shots for kids 12-15 on Monday, after Dr. Walensky has had a chance to gather information from outside sources regarding safety and efficacy.
Kids in this age group have been eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine since May, but only 4 million people have gotten it and would be able to get the booster. The FDA is also expected to announce that immunocompromised kids between 5 and 11 years old will be approved for the booster as the two-dose vaccine does not appear to provide sufficient protection against the Omicron variant.