Pfizer to seek approval for Covid booster for teens 16 and 17

WASHINGTON — Pfizer is expected to seek authorization this week for a Covid-19 vaccine booster for teens 16 and 17 years old, a source familiar with the process told NBC News on Monday.

If approved, the additional Pfizer-BioNTech shot would mark the first vaccine booster for teens younger than 18.

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The Washington Post first reported the anticipated move.

The application for regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration is expected to come this week, but no timeline was provided for when the department would act.

The department, which declined to comment Monday night, authorized booster shots for all adults earlier this month from Pfizer and Moderna.

The move comes as a new variant of coronavirus, known as omicron, spreads around the globe, worrying experts and pushing President Joe Biden to urge caution and again implore Americans to get inoculated.

“The best protection against this new variant or any of the variants out there, the ones we’ve been dealing with already, is getting fully vaccinated and getting a booster shot,” Biden said earlier Monday. “Most Americans are fully vaccinated, but not yet boosted.”

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said all adults should get Covid-19 booster shots when they’re eligible, striking a much stronger tone than its recommendations just a few weeks ago.

“Everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot … when they are 6 months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said in a statement. Anyone who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine shot at least two months ago would also qualify.

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