US CDC panel recommends Pfizer boosters for 12-15-yr-olds


Washington, Jan 6 : An independent panel of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) has recommended Pfizer/BioNTech's Covid-19 booster shots for children aged 12 to 15 amid an unprecedented surge of infections across the country. "A single Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine booster dose is recommended for persons aged 12 to 17 years at least 5 months after primary series under the FDA's emergency use authorization," said the recommendation on Wednesday. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is expected to quickly sign off on the committee's endorsement to make it effective. The advisers made the recommendation after hearing research on rare cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in young people who have received Covid-19 vaccines and noting that many parents are concerned about long-term side effects of vaccines. They also considered that vaccine uptake among 12- to 17-year-olds has slowed recently and weighed the record numbers of Covid-19 cases in children amid a surge of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant. On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the emergency use authorization for Pfizer's Covid vaccine boosters to children aged 12 to 15. Pfizer boosters were previously authorised for people aged 16 and 17, and the CDC has already recommended people aged 16 and older get boosters. Hospitalisations of children infected with Covid-19 are rising in the United States as the highly contagious Omicron variant drives a wave of infection in the broader population. Multiple studies have shown that booster shots significantly increase protection against infection and severe illness. /IANS


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