FDA allows booster dose Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 to 11

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine booster had been previously limited in the U.S. to individuals at least 12 years old, but now children as young as 5 are eligible, thanks to an expanded emergency use authorization related to the vaccine.

The agency agreed to expand the vaccine’s use in children to “provide continued protection against COVID-19,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf in a news release.

While “COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children than adults,” Califf noted that the omicron wave has resulted in more children getting infected and hospitalized with COVID-19 infections. “Children may also experience longer-term effects, even following initially mild disease,” he added.

The FDA has determined that vaccine effectiveness in all authorized populations wanes in the weeks and months following administration of a second dose.

“The FDA has determined that the known and potential benefits of a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID…

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