CDC Panel Recommends Pfizer COVID Boosters for Ages 12-15


Jan. 5, 2022 – A CDC advisory panel today recommended that 12- to 17-year-olds in the U.S. should get the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot 5 months after a primary series of vaccinations.

The CDC had already said 16- and 17-year-olds “may” receive a Pfizer booster but today’s recommendation adds the 12-15 group and strengthens the “may” to “should” for 16- and 17-year-olds.

The committee voted 13-1 to recommend the booster for ages 12-17.

The vote comes after the FDA on Monday authorized the Pfizer vaccine booster dose for 12- to 15-year-olds.

The FDA action updated the authorization for the Pfizer vaccine, and the agency also shortened the recommended time between a second dose and the booster to 5 months or more (from 6 months). A third primary series dose is also now authorized for certain immunocompromised children between 5 and 11 years old. Full details are available in an FDA news release.

The CDC on Tuesday also backed the shortened time frame and a third primary series dose for some immunocompromised children 5 to 11 years old. But the CDC delayed a decision on a booster for 12- to 15-year-olds until it heard from its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices today.

The decision came as school districts nationwide are wrestling with decisions of whether to keep schools open or revert to a virtual format as cases surge, and as pediatric COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations reach new highs.

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