The COVID Rules Keep Bending


The United States Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved COVID-19 booster shots for kids ages 12 to 15, marking the next move by the US government to allow extra vaccination doses for children.

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Who’s Next for the Jab?

Regulators cut the period between finishing the first immunization series with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — the only one approved for anybody 12 and older — and receiving a booster shot from six months to a minimum of five months.

As justification for narrowing the window, the FDA highlighted lab research, demonstrating boosters enhance people’s immune reaction to omicron, as well as information from millions of citizens of Israel, 16 and older, who received boosters after at least five months.

Some vulnerable children as young as five years old will be able to receive an additional dose, according to the government.

The choices come as the highly communicable omicron threatens to interrupt daily life in the United States far into the winter; it also comes as school districts in Democrat-led states cut back efforts to require kids to be vaccinated in order to avoid falling behind regulators.

“As the viruses that cause COVID-19 have developed during the outbreak, the FDA’s need to adjust quickly entailed using the best possible science to make educated decisions with the safety and health of the American people in mind,” acting FDA Director Janet Woodcock said in a release.

“In order to effectively combat COVID-19, we must continue to implement effective, life-saving prevention measures, such as primary vaccine and boosters, mask-wearing, and social separation.”

Boosters for All

“Given the current circumstances, it’s critical to provide a booster to all eligible persons, especially in light of newly-emerging strains like omicron,” said BioNTech’s CEO and co-founder, Ugur Sahin.

As per news sources, the CDC’s vaccine advisory panel is set to assess expanded eligibility for booster injections this week before determining whether or not to recommend the shots for the youngest teens. A hearing for the panel has been set for Wednesday.

On December 9, the FDA and CDC increased booster availability to 16-and-17-year-olds, claiming omicron’s rapid ascent as a reason.

As cold weather pushes most individuals indoors, where the coronavirus transmits most quickly, boosting teenagers as they return to school in January may increase their resistance to COVID infection.

As healthcare systems around the country are stretched to their limitations, the development of omicron persuaded several experts who were previously suspicious of the mass boosting method to embrace it.

However, worries about exposing apparently healthy kids to myocarditis, a rare adverse effect of mRNA immunizations like Pfizer’s, caused some medical professionals to advise caution in allowing extra doses for children with limited safety data.

Teenagers and adults under the age of 30, particularly men, are at the highest risk of having the disease.