CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Food and Drug Administration is planning to expand eligibility for the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot.
NBC News reports that the FDA will expand eligibility to children ages 12 to 15 in the coming days. The news of the pending approval was first reported in The New York Times.
“Due to Omicron, we expect a significant rise in cases. Fully vaccinated people, particularly those with a boost are highly protected,” said COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients.
This news comes as the Omicron Variant of the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly across the United States. Accounting for about 58 percent of all new coronavirus cases for the week that ended Saturday, according to the CDC.
Dr. Aileen M. Marty, Professor of Infectious Diseases at FIU, said, “You not only get a larger population of memory cells, which is what you want from a vaccine is memory cells. You also have a greater variety of memory T cells and memory B cells that they’re applying to different parts of the of the spike, and therefore more likely to be able to combat any variant.”
In Massachusetts we saw the largest one day new cases at over 21,000 positive cases on Thursday, and within the last two weeks COVID-19 cases of children between 12 to 15 in Massachusetts were a little over 4,500 cases.
The booster has proven to help prevent infection, “Early data on the vaccine is promising against Omicron especially when people are boosted COVID-19 vaccines especially when accompanied by a booster dose are likely to protect against a severe disease, hospitalization and death,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky Director of the CDC.
Infectious disease experts say boosters give your system a larger population of memory cells, that apply to different parts of the COVID spike which make it more likely to combat a variant.
Even if the FDA agrees to expand eligibility the CDC still has to approve it before children 12 to 15 can get the boosters.