The US Food and Drug Administration on Monday authorized the use of a third dose of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15, and narrowed the time for all booster shots by a month to five months after the primary doses, Trend reports citing Al Arabiya.
The agency also authorized a third shot for children aged 5 through 11 years who are immunocompromised.
The regulatory decisions come as schools reopen in much of the country, and as COVID-19 cases surge due to the omicron variant of the virus, with health authorities warning that its high transmissibility could overwhelm many health systems.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to weigh in on the changes this week, according to the New York Times. The CDC was not immediately available for comment.
“Based on the FDA’s assessment of currently available data, a booster dose of the currently authorized vaccines may help provide better protection against both the Delta and Omicron variants,” said Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.