(WXYZ) — 12 to 15-year old adolescents are now eligible to get Pfizer’s booster shot. The FDA not only expanded the drug company’s Emergency Use Authorization to include this age group but also approved a shortened interval time between the second and third dose.
The booster dose for 12 to 15-year-olds is the same strength as it is for those aged 16 years and up – and that’s 30 micrograms. So now everyone who is 12 and older can get boosted after they are fully vaccinated with the primary series, meaning the first two doses. And instead of waiting six months, people will be able to get boosted at 5 months.
Of course, that’s assuming the CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky signs off on these changes later this week.
Now, why did the FDA shorten the interval time between the second dose and the third booster dose by a month? Well, it’s based on real-world data from Israel. Over 6,300 kids aged 12 to 15 were given a booster shot 5 months after the primary series. And no new safety issues were found. Plus, getting boosted provides better protection against both the Omicron and Delta variants.
Lastly, the FDA also approved boosters for children who have an immunocompromising condition and are between the ages of 5 and 11. Those children can now get boosted 28 days following their second Pfizer dose. And the reason why is because these children's immune systems may not produce enough protective antibodies with just two doses.
Here’s what’s going on. Omicron is so contagious, that we’re seeing a lot of children being hospitalized right now. Between Dec 22 and Dec 28th, there was a 66% increase from the week before in the number of kids admitted per day that was under the age of 17. That’s concerning to me. And it could get worse if Omicron starts spreading through our schools.
Now, I’m not saying that Omicron is worse for kids. But because it’s so infectious, we’re seeing a huge increase in the number of children and people infected in a short amount of time. So what I’d like parents to know, is that kids who are vaccinated are less like to get severe symptoms. Instead, they’re more likely to have your basic cold-like symptoms.
On top of that, a new Danish study found that people who are booster-vaccinated are less likely to spread the virus than those who are unvaccinated. And that includes the Omicron variant. So families overall are more protected when everyone who is eligible is vaccinated and then boosted.
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