CDC approves Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot for ages 16-17

Coronavirus Updates

A healthcare worker fills a syringe with Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a community vaccination event in a predominately Latino neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, August 11, 2021. – All teachers in California will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or submit to weekly virus tests, Governor Gavin Newsom announced on August 11, as authorities grapple with exploding infection rates. The number of people testing positive for the disease has surged in recent weeks, with the highly infectious Delta variant blamed for the bulk of new cases. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

(ABC4) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for 16-17-year-olds on Thursday.

The approval only applies to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at this time. Earlier this morning, the FDA approved the Pfizer booster for ages 16 and up, pending approval from the CDC.

“Today, CDC is strengthening its booster recommendations and encouraging everyone 16 and older to receive a booster shot,” says Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director. “Although we don’t have all the answers on the Omicron variant, initial data suggests that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen the protection against Omicron and other variants. We know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and I strongly encourage adolescents ages 16 and 17 to get their booster if they are at least 6 months post their initial Pfizer vaccination series.”

Earlier in November, the U.S. government moved to open up booster shots to all adults, hoping to curb the rising coronavirus cases attributed to both the new Omicron variant and increased holiday gathering.

So far, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine booster shots have only been approved for those aged 18 or older. Health experts continue urging unvaccinated adults to get vaccinated and those who have not received booster shots, to do so.

“The No. 1 priority still is getting more unvaccinated Americans their first doses,” says CDC adviser Dr. Matthew Daley of Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “That’s because all three COVID-19 vaccines used in the U.S. continue to offer strong protection against severe illness, including hospitalization and death, without a booster.”

For full information on COVID-19 booster shots and who is currently eligible, click here.

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