CT health officials weigh in on CDC’s approval of Pfizer booster shots for teenagers

Health

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The CDC gives the green light for teens as young as 16 to get a booster shot. This comes hours after the FDA gave the emergency use authorization to the Pfizer vaccine fr this age group.

“The booster vaccination increases the level of immunity and dramatically improves protection against COVID-19 in all age groups studied so far,” said Ugur Sahin, CEO, and Co-founder of BioNTech. “In the current situation, it is important to offer everyone a booster, particularly against the background of the newly-emerging variants such as omicron.”

Connecticut Children’s Infectious Disease Doctor Juan Salazar says this is another piece of the puzzle in fighting against all of the COVID variants.

“We do know that boosting them just like the adults, the older population is going to produce much higher levels of antibodies in the blood that will then fend off Delta which is the current variant and certainly against omicron,” said Dr. Salazar.

Salazar says this age group still needs to get their initial round of the vaccine. Right now, 66% of 16-24-year-olds are fully vaccinated against COVID in the state.

“The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has been available to individuals 16 years of age and older for nearly a year, and its benefits have been shown to clearly outweigh potential risks,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “Since we first authorized the vaccine, new evidence indicates that vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 is waning after the second dose of the vaccine for all adults and for those in the 16- and 17-year-old age group. A single booster dose of the vaccine for those vaccinated at least six months prior will help provide continued protection against COVID-19 in this and older age groups.”

“When you get the third shot boost, it dramatically increases the level of laboratory projected protection. This is good news about the booster protection,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

The CDC says teens 16-17 years old can only receive a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot if they received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months beforehand.

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