(Bakken) – The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved Pfizer booster shots for people ages 12 to 15, another expansion of the population eligible for the third shot.
Booster shots are seen as a key tool to combat the omicron variant, which has shown an increased ability to infect individuals who have two shots, although vaccinated people still have important protection against serious illness.
The FDA also shortened the time for all adults to get their booster shots down to five months from six months after the first shots.
Finally, for children ages 5-11, the FDA approved a third shot for certain immunocompromised children, which it said may not respond fully to two shots.
“Based on the FDA’s assessment of currently available data, a booster dose of the currently approved vaccines may help provide better protection against both the delta and omicron variants. In particular, the omicron variant appears to be slightly more resistant to the antibody levels produced as response to the primary serial doses of current vaccines, ”said Peter Marks, a senior FDA vaccine official.
With this in mind, the FDA has expanded the range of individuals eligible to receive a booster, shortened the length of time between the completion of Pfizer’s primary series for individuals to receive a booster, and approved a third protective vaccine dose. for some of our youngest and most vulnerable individuals, ”he added.
The FDA said the decision on boosters for 12-15-year-olds was based on real-world data from 6,300 people in Israel.
“These additional data enabled the FDA to reassess the benefits and risks of using a booster in the younger teen population in the current increase in COVID-19 cases,” the agency said. “The data show that there are no new security issues following a booster in this population.”
The FDA said there were no new cases of myocarditis in this group from Israel, citing heart inflammation, which officials have monitored as a rare vaccine side effect, especially in younger people.