US drug agency authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster for ages 16, 17
2.6 million US teens eligible for booster
The US Food and Drug Administration authorized on Thursday a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 16- and 17-year-olds.
It means 2.6 million US teens are eligible for the booster as the new omicron variant has been detected in 19 states.
"The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has been available to individuals 16 years of age and older for nearly a year, and its benefits have been shown to clearly outweigh potential risks," Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.
Marks said new evidence indicates that vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 is waning after the second dose of the vaccine for all adults and those in the 16- and 17-year-old age group.
"A single booster dose of the vaccine for those vaccinated at least six months prior will help provide continued protection against COVID-19 in this and older age groups," he said.
The FDA authorized on Nov. 19 the use of a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to individuals 18 and older.