FDA expands COVID boosters for more U.S. teens

The Food and Drug Administration allows extra Pfizer shots for children as young as 12

The U.S. is expanding COVID-19 boosters as it confronts the Omicron surge, with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowing extra Pfizer shots for children as young as 12.

Boosters already are recommended for everyone 16 and older, and federal regulators on Monday decided they’re also warranted for 12- to 15-year-olds once enough time has passed since their last dose.

But the move, coming as classes restart after the holidays, isn’t the final step. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must decide whether to recommend boosters for the younger teens.

The FDA said everyone 12 and older who’s eligible for a Pfizer booster can get one as early as five months after their last dose rather than six months. Children tend to suffer less serious illness from COVID-19 than adults. But child hospitalisations are rising during the omicron wave — most of them unvaccinated.

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