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FDA authorizes Pfizer booster shots for children 12-15 years old

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 3:39 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - As health leaders continue to stand behind vaccines being the best bet for protection from severe COVID-19 illness, booster shoots are becoming just as important in the fight against the pandemic.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) now authorizes children ages 12 to 15 years old to receive a Pfizer booster shot.

Baptist Memorial Hospital infectious disease specialist, Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, says this is a move toward providing better protection for another portion of the population.

“This allows us more protection for a group that might be likely to spread the virus just from social gatherings and such,” said Threlkeld.

The FDA also shortens the period that children of this age group have to wait to receive the booster from six months to five months.

Threlkeld says the decision was based on laboratory data of antibody responses as well as real-world data from Israel.

“They found that a booster for as little as five months after the Pfizer shot before, greatly increased the protection against symptomatic disease, much as we saw in older people, and did not result in any increased side effects,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children ages 5 to 11, who are immunocompromised receive an additional primary dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“Much like we saw in older folks with organ transplants and other such immunosuppressing conditions,” Threlkeld said. “So, if you’re 5 to11 and you can’t get good immunity from the first two shots, the third shot is also an option.”

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