FDA clears Pfizer boosters for 16 and 17 year olds

According to federal data, about 5.5 million young people between the ages of 16 and 17 – two-thirds of this age group – have received at...

According to federal data, about 5.5 million young people between the ages of 16 and 17 – two-thirds of this age group – have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. More than 4.7 million people have received two doses. About three million people got their second shot at least six months ago and would be eligible for a third shot this month.

The World Health Organization on Thursday again expressed concern that aggressive recall campaigns in richer countries would further exacerbate global disparities in access to vaccines.

“If we look at the data today, even before Omicron, we see high-income countries giving more booster doses than even vaccines given in developing countries,” Richard Mihigo, Vaccination Program Coordinator of the World Health Organization in Africa. , said at a press conference.

Officials in the Biden administration argue that booster shots do not limit donations. According to the White House, the United States has pledged 1.2 billion doses to countries in need, more than all other countries combined. In about three months, nearly half a billion doses will have been delivered, officials said. Some African countries have called for shipments to be suspended because they have more supply than they can handle.

Federal health officials say that because Omicron contains dozens of mutations never seen before, it is all the more important that anyone eligible for a booster receives one.

Asked if a fourth shot might be needed, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said Thursday that government medical and health experts would continue to assess the situation.

FDA’s latest recall clearance follows preliminary results that Pfizer and BioNTech reported on Wednesday showing that blood tests of people who received two doses of the companies’ vaccine contained much lower levels of antibodies against Omicron than against an earlier version of the virus. Antibodies are the immune system’s first line of defense against the virus, and the results suggest that two doses may not be enough to protect against infection, the companies said.

With a boost, the level of antibodies working to neutralize the Omicron variant was comparable to that fighting the original variant after two doses, the companies said. Antibodies are only one measure of the immune system’s defenses. Cells attacking viruses stimulated by two initial doses should still offer substantial protection against severe cases of Covid-19.

Lynsey chutel contributed reports.

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Newsrust - US Top News: FDA clears Pfizer boosters for 16 and 17 year olds
FDA clears Pfizer boosters for 16 and 17 year olds
Newsrust - US Top News
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