FDA expands eligibility for Pfizer Covid booster shots to 16- and 17-year-olds

A 16-year-old teenager, receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine.

Jack Guez | AFP | Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday expanded eligibility for Pfizer and BioNTech’s booster shot to people who are 16 and 17 years old.

The FDA’s emergency authorization comes after initial data from South African scientists and Pfizer indicate the omicron variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 significantly reduces protection provided by the initial two-dose vaccine series.

However, Pfizer’s initial lab data indicated a booster shot provides significant protection against omicron, with virus fighting ability comparable to the 95% protection that the two-dose series showed against the original strain of the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still needs to authorize boosters for 16- and 17-year-olds before the shots are administered. The CDC cleared booster shots for all adults 18 and over last month.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

CNBC Health & Science

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