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The FDA Has Authorized Pfizer-BioNTech Boosters For 16- And 17-Year-Olds

A tray holds three syringes filled with the Pzifer vaccine.
A syringe of BioNTech Pfizer is prepared last month at a vaccination center.
(Jan Hetfleisch
Getty Images)
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The Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to cover the use of a single booster dose for people 16 and 17 years of age.

They would be eligible at least six months after completion of the initial two-shot vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

“Vaccination and getting a booster when eligible, along with other preventive measures like masking and avoiding large crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, remain our most effective methods for fighting COVID-19,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock in announcing the expansion. “As people gather indoors with family and friends for the holidays, we can’t let up on all the preventive public health measures that we have been taking during the pandemic. With both the delta and omicron variants continuing to spread, vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19.”

Pfizer asked the FDA to expand boosters for this age group at the end of November, saying it wanted to provide as much protection for as many people as possible especially given the emergence of the highly transmissible omicron variant.

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In October, Pfizer and BioNTech announced the results of a randomized study of 10,000 people 16 years of age and older that the company says showed a booster dose "restored vaccine protection against COVID-19 to the high levels achieved after the second dose."

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