CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to authorize booster doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds on Monday, the New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the agency’s deliberations.
The Times also reports U.S. regulators plan to allow both adolescents and adults to get an extra shot of Pfizer’s vaccine five months after receiving a second vaccine dose instead of the current six-month window.
A booster shot is also set to be authorized for children ages 5 to 11 with immune deficiencies.
NewsNation reached out to the FDA for comment on Thursday, Dec. 30. The agency replied, “unfortunately we don’t have any information to share.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) vaccine advisory committee is planning to meet next week to vote on whether to recommend the changes. If the committee agrees with the FDA authorizations, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the CDC director, will endorse the recommendations.
Two months after vaccinations were approved for children ages 5 to 11, about 14 percent are fully protected, CDC data shows. The rate is higher for 12 to 17-year-olds, at nearly 53 percent.
The push for boosters comes as the highly transmissible omicron variant continues to spread and COVID-19 hospitalizations among children are on the rise.
“Virtually all, not 100 percent but close to that, of the children who are seriously ill in a hospital from COVID-19 are children whose parents decided they did not want to vaccinate them. That is avoidable,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told NewsNation on Thursday.
Facui says the country’s best defense for children is proven to be vaccination. He urged parents to “think about the individual safety of the children.”