Children ages of 12 through 15 should take Pfizer (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report and BioNTech's SE (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report Covid-19 booster, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which expanded eligibility for the vaccine this week.
The CDC's decision is based on the recommendation of a panel of outside experts who also advised the agency earlier to recommend Covid booster shots for teenagers.
The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted 13 to 1 to recommend the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine booster. The panel also recommended the CDC should strengthen its own recommendation for boosters for ages 16 and 17.
The CDC currently recommends that adolescents age 12 to 17 years old should receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial vaccination series.
Covid cases have reached record levels in the U.S. and other countries this winter despite vaccination efforts over the past nine months
Earlier this week, Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine received emergency use authorization as a booster for children aged 12 to 15. The FDA already authorized the booster for people 16 and older.
The FDA also reduced the time for administration of a booster dose from at least six months to at least five months following completion of the primary series for people 12 and older.
And the FDA has expanded authorization of the vaccine to include a third dose at least 28 days following the second dose for people 5 through 11 who are immunocompromised.
“With the current wave of the omicron variant, it’s critical that we continue to take effective, life-saving preventative measures such as primary vaccination and boosters, mask-wearing and social distancing to in order to effectively fight COVID-19,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock.