THEAdolescents as young as 16 will be able to receive their third dose of the anti-Covid vaccine in the United States. On Thursday, December 9, US health authorities further lowered the age from which a booster dose with Pfizer serum can be received. A decision that comes as the Omicron variant begins to spread across the country.
The emergency authorization request was filed by Pfizer-BioNTech less than two weeks ago. According to the company’s data release, a booster dose should prove crucial in fighting Omicron. This dose can only be received at least six months after the first series of injections, the United States Medicines Agency (FDA) has announced. Pfizer’s vaccine is the only one authorized in the United States under the age of 18, from 5 years old for the first two shots.
Teens less at risk of complications
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) have also recommended this booster dose for adolescents aged 16-17. “Although we do not have all the answers on the Omicron variant, preliminary data suggests that the boosters against Covid-19 help broaden and strengthen protection against Omicron and other variants,” the said in a statement. head of CDC, Rochelle Walensky. “The effectiveness of the vaccine against the Covid-19 decreases after the second dose for all adults and for the group of 16 and 17 years”, also justified Peter Marks, scientific manager within the FDA.
Adolescents are generally much less likely than older adults to develop a severe case of the disease. Among them, boys in particular are more prone to an increased risk of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, after vaccination with Pfizer or Moderna. These cases remain rare but in recent months had led the authorities to adopt a cautious posture concerning a recall in the youngest. However, they said Thursday that the balance between benefits and risks was clearly tilted in favor of vaccination.