What should parents know about the FDA approving a third dose of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15?
As of Monday, January 3rd, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of a third dose of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. Below is all the information about the approved ages of booster shots, the shortened time for all booster shots after the primary doses, and the authorized third shot for immunocompromised children.
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Why is this important?
The FDA has authorized the Pfizer Booster shot to help protect against COVID-19, in children ages 12-15. Why is this important? These decisions come as schools reopen across the country, and as COVID-19 cases surge due to the Omicron variant, with health authorities warning how transmittable it may be. According to Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, “Based on the FDA’s assessment of currently available data, a booster dose of the currently authorized vaccines may help provide better protection against both the Delta and Omicron variants.”
How effective is this?
According to the CDC, based on data from South Africa and the United Kingdom, two shots of the vaccine are about 35% effective against infection from the Omicron variant, but a booster dose restores effectiveness to 75%. In addition, the FDA authorized shortening the booster shot at 5 months instead of 6 after the second dose of the vaccine. This was done to provide better protection sooner against Omicron.
Immunocompromised children ages 5-11
In addition to that announcement, the FDA also authorized a third shot for children aged 5 through 11 years who are immunocompromised. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said, that the use of boosters is essential to preserving a high level of protection against this disease and reducing the rate of hospitalizations, among children and adults.
If your child ages 12 and older qualifies, getting the booster helps protect your family and your community.