On Monday, the FDA extended emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s Covid-19 booster shots to children aged 12 to 15. 19 boosters for children of this age group.
The CDC cleared the Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use as a booster for 16 and 17 year olds in December.
The ACIP recommendation came after members heard research on rare cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in young people who received Covid-19 vaccines and noted that many parents are concerned about the side effects to long-term vaccines. They also considered that vaccination among 12 to 17 year olds had recently slowed and weighed in the record number of Covid-19 cases in children amid a wave of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The CDC on Tuesday approved shortening the booster interval from six months to five months for people who received the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine. It also recommended that children aged 5 to 11 who are moderately or severely immunocompromised receive an additional primary dose 28 days after their second injection; only the Pfizer / BioNTech shot is authorized for this age group.
The booster dose of Pfizer contains the same amount of vaccine as the initial doses: 30 micrograms.
Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 became eligible to receive their initial round of the Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in mid-May, opening vaccinations to around 17 million more people.
Today, about half of the population aged 12 to 15 – about 8.7 million – is fully vaccinated, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 5 million of them have been fully vaccinated for more than five months and are now eligible for a booster.
Children in this age group make up about 5% of the total United States population. They make up about 4% of the fully vaccinated population in the United States and about 3% of those eligible to receive a booster, according to the latest CDC data.
In October, the CDC recommended that adults who completed their initial Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna vaccine series at least six months ago receive a booster, as well as those who received their first Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least six months ago. at least two months.
Overall, around 71.6 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19. That’s less than half of the roughly 180 million people eligible to receive their booster injection, and about one-fifth of the total United States population. And at least 67.5 million people aged 5 and over have not received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the latest CDC data.
CNN’s Deidre McPhillips, John Bonifield and Jamie Gumbrecht contributed to this report.
Correction: A previous version of this report misrepresented October as the time when booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were recommended for children aged 16 and 17 by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has been updated to reflect that the agency recommended Covid-19 booster injections for adults in October.