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FDA expands COVID-19 boosters for young teens

Masked students leave a school in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan on Tuesday. Associated Press/Photo by Brittainy Newman

FDA expands COVID-19 boosters for young teens

The agency voted Monday to authorize a third full-strength dose of Pfizer’s vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 as early as five months after the second shot. Food and Drug Administration vaccine chief Peter Marks said several peer-reviewed studies indicate an additional shot provides better antibody response against the delta and omicron variants. The FDA did not consult its independent scientific advisers before making the decision. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky is expected to decide whether to sign off on the FDA’s authorization later this week.

Is the vaccine safe? Some experts have raised concerns about the risk of heart inflammation in young people who receive the coronavirus vaccine. Doctors have most often observed post-vaccination cases of myocarditis in men ages 16 to 29. One Israeli study tracked more than 6,300 children ages 12 to 15 who received a booster shot five months after the second Pfizer dose. There were no new cases of myocarditis or pericarditis. Severe illness or hospitalization for child infections is rare but increasing, according to the CDC.

Dig deeper: Read Heather Franks’ report in Beginnings about the omicron variant’s causes and effects.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Washington, D.C.



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