FDA approves Pfizer boosters for 16- and 17-year-olds

In accordance with federal knowledge, about 5.5 million 16- and 17-year-olds – two-thirds of that age group – have acquired at the least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Greater than 4.7 million have acquired two doses. About three million acquired their second admission at the least six months in the past and could be eligible for a 3rd admission this month.

The World Well being Group reiterated its concern Thursday that aggressive refresher campaigns in wealthier international locations might additional exacerbate world disparities in entry to vaccines.

“If we have a look at the info as we speak, even earlier than Omicron, we see that high-income international locations are giving extra booster vaccinations than even in growing international locations,” Richard Mihigo, coordinator of the World Well being Group’s vaccine program in Africa, stated at a information convention.

Biden authorities officers argue that booster pictures do not restrict donations. In accordance with the White Home, the USA has pledged 1.2 billion doses to international locations in want – greater than all different international locations mixed. Almost half a billion doses shall be given in about three months, officers stated. Some African international locations have requested to cease deliveries as a result of they’ve extra provides than they will deal with.

Federal well being officers say it’s much more essential that anybody eligible for a booster vaccination receives one, as Omicron accommodates dozens of mutations which have by no means been seen earlier than.

When requested if a fourth shot could be vital, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki stated Thursday that authorities well being and medical consultants would additional assess the scenario.

The FDA’s newest booster approval follows preliminary outcomes reported by Pfizer and BioNTech on Wednesday, exhibiting that blood exams from individuals who acquired two doses of the corporate’s vaccine confirmed a lot decrease ranges of antibodies to Omicron than towards an earlier model of the virus. Antibodies are the immune system’s first line of protection towards the virus, and the outcomes recommend that two doses will not be sufficient to guard towards an infection, the businesses say.

With a booster, the extent of antibodies that neutralized the Omicron variant was akin to that which fought the unique variant after two doses, the businesses stated. Antibodies are only a measure of the immune system’s defenses. Virus-attacking cells spurred by an preliminary dose of two doses are anticipated to proceed to supply important safety towards extreme circumstances of Covid-19.

Lynsey Chutel contributed to the protection.

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