Lifestyle

CDC Officially Recommends Pfizer Boosters For Teens Ages 12-17

mikimad/Getty

After the FDA approved them, the CDC has taken the final step and approved Pfizer boosters for all fully vaccinated kids ages 12 to 17

The final hurdle has been cleared to allow younger teens who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to receive booster shots. After the FDA granted emergency authorization to Pfizer boosters for kids ages 12-17 earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened a panel of outside experts who voted to make the official recommendation that kids in that age group should receive the shots.

The panel voted 13-1 in favor of boosters for kids ages 12 and up who are fully vaccinated and received their second Pfizer dose at least five months ago. CDC director Rachelle Walensky then endorsed the recommendation, which makes it official.

“It is critical that we protect our children and teens from Covid-19 infection and the complications of severe disease,” Walensky said in a statement. “I encourage all parents to keep their children up to date with CDC’s Covid-19 vaccine recommendations.”

The new recommendation comes as omicron has cases surging across the U.S., packing hospitals and disrupting schools. Some of the nation’s largest school systems, including in Chicago and New Jersey, have shifted back to remote learning since the end of the winter holiday break. In addition to the threat of the virus spreading easily in packed classrooms, many schools are facing staffing shortages due to the number of teachers and other staff who have contracted the virus in recent weeks.

Booster shots have been recommended for Pfizer recipients because studies show the vaccine’s effectiveness may begin waning at around five months. Boosters have been shown to provide considerably better protection against severe disease and death, even from COVID variants like omicron.