CDC Panel Recommends Pfizer COVID Boosters for Ages 12-15

This story was up to date at 8:09 p.m. Jan. 5, 2022. 

Jan. 5, 2022 – A CDC advisory panel at this time really useful that 12- to 17-year-olds within the U.S. ought to get the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot 5 months after a main sequence of vaccinations.

The CDC had already mentioned 16- and 17-year-olds “could” obtain a Pfizer booster however at this time’s advice provides the 12-15 group and strengthens the “could” to “ought to” for 16- and 17-year-olds.

The committee voted 13-1 to advocate the booster for ages 12-17. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, should nonetheless approve the advice for it to take impact.

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

The FDA motion up to date the authorization for the Pfizer vaccine, and the company additionally shortened the really useful time between a second dose and the booster to five months or extra (from 6 months). A 3rd main sequence dose can be now approved for sure immunocompromised kids between 5 and 11 years previous. Full particulars can be found in an FDA information launch.

The CDC on Tuesday additionally backed the shortened time-frame and a 3rd main sequence dose for some immunocompromised kids 5 to 11 years previous. However the CDC delayed a call on a booster for 12- to 15-year-olds till it heard from its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at this time.

The choice got here as college districts nationwide are wrestling with selections of whether or not to maintain colleges open or revert to a digital format as instances surge, and as pediatric COVID-19 instances and hospitalizations attain new highs.

The one dissenting vote got here from Helen Keipp Talbot, MD, affiliate professor of medication at Vanderbilt College in Nashville.

She mentioned after the vote, “I’m simply high quality with youngsters getting a booster. This isn’t me towards all boosters. I simply actually need the U.S. to maneuver ahead with all youngsters.”

Talbot mentioned earlier within the remark interval, “If we divert our public well being from the unvaccinated to the vaccinated, we aren’t going to make a big effect. Boosters are extremely necessary however they received’t resolve this downside of the crowded hospitals.”

She mentioned vaccinating the unvaccinated have to be the precedence.

“If you’re a father or mother on the market who has not but vaccinated your youngster as a result of you may have questions, please, please speak to a well being care supplier,” she mentioned.

Among the many 13 supporters of the advice was Oliver Brooks, MD, chief medical officer of Watts HealthCare Company in Los Angeles.

Brooks mentioned extending the inhabitants for boosters is one other software within the toolbox.

“If it’s a hammer, we must always hit that nail exhausting,” he mentioned.

Sara Oliver, MD, ACIP’s lead for the COVID-19 work group, introduced the case behind the advice.

She famous the hovering Omicron instances.

“As of Jan. 3, the 7-day common had reached an all-time excessive of practically 500,000 instances,” Oliver famous.

Since this summer season, she mentioned, adolescents have had a better price of incidence than adults.

“Nearly all of COVID instances proceed to happen among the many unvaccinated,” she mentioned, “with unvaccinated 12- to 17-year-olds having a 7-times-higher danger of testing optimistic for SARS-Cov-2 in comparison with vaccinated 12- to 17-year-olds. Unvaccinated 12- to 17-year-olds have round 11 instances larger danger of hospitalization than vaccinated 12- to 17-year-olds.”

“Vaccine effectiveness in adolescents 12- to 15-years-old stays excessive,” Oliver mentioned, however proof exhibits, there could also be “some waning over time.”

Dialogue of danger centered on myocarditis.

Oliver mentioned myocarditis charges reported after the Pfizer vaccine in Israel throughout all populations as of Dec. 15 present that “the charges of myocarditis after a 3rd dose are decrease than what’s seen after the second dose.”

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