Vaccines – FDA approves booster doses for 16- and 17-year-olds due to Omicron variant


To improve protection against the Delta strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is still the prevailing strain in the United States, but also because of the imminent threat of the new Omicron strain, the FDA approved the booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine. in people 16 and 17 years old.

The decision was based on data from South African scientists, who pointed out that the aid doses play a key role against the new strain Omicron.

The doctors of the Therapeutic Clinic of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Theodora Psaltopoulou, Panos Malandrakis, Giannis Danasis and Thanos Dimopoulos (rector of EKPA) summarize the new data.

What has been the case so far

Aid doses have already been approved for adults over 18, and Moderna and Johnson vaccines are not approved for people under 18. The scientists concluded that the benefit of continuous protection from a dose of boosting outweighs the potential risk of rare side effects, especially in cases of myocarditis that have been reported in young men.

For children under the age of 16, data on booster doses are not yet mature, and children will probably be able to wait more than six months after completing their initial vaccination. The Pfizer vaccine is also being tested in children under 5 years of age, yet it has not been approved, but sufficient safety and efficacy data will be available in the first months of 2022.

Parents, however, are skeptical about vaccinating young people and adolescents, especially in the 5-11 age group, as 16% of parents say their children at this age have received at least one dose, and 13% plan to vaccinate them immediately, while 30% clearly do not intend to vaccinate their children. The aid dose may be the answer to the new Omicron strain, as a new study by Pfizer showed that the aid dose in people over 16 years of age reaches an efficiency that reaches 95%, compared to those who did not receive it.  

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