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As Omicron surges across the country and increases the number of Covid-19 cases, FDA approves booster shots for children aged 12 and more



Little Rock, Arkansas – The recently discovered Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus seems to bring one of the largest Covid-19 waves since the start of the pandemic as the coronavirus cases are constantly on the rise in the last couple of weeks, while health experts believe the numbers will explode by the end of January.

What makes the whole recent situation even harder is the fact that both vaccine immunity and natural immunity are easily evaded by the Omicron because the variant reported has more than 30 mutations which makes it pretty easy to spread.

Omicron became the dominant strain in the country just weeks after the health officials confirmed the first ever Omicron cases in United States. The number of cases is constantly on the rise and health experts and health officials believe that these numbers will literally explode in the upcoming period.

In an effort to slow down the spread of the virus and potentially lower the number of cases across the country, the Food and Drug Administration is now officially allowing extra, booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 and more.

However, this doesn’t mean that the decision will get into effect immediately since the booster dose for children aged 12-15 years should be confirmed by CDC and their director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said that the final decision is expected to be confirmed later this week.

According to FDA’s decision, children aged 12-15 will become eligible for a booster shot five months after their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Dr. Peter Marks, the FDA vaccine chief, said in a statement that the FDA approval stemmed from the rising number of cases recently and in effort to additionally protect the children in this age group. He added that booster doses “may help provide better protection against both the delta and omicron variants,” especially as omicron is “slightly more resistant” to the vaccine-induced antibodies that help fend off infection.

The FDA referred to Israel where more than 6,300 children aged 12-15 already got their third Pfizer dose five months after their second dose and no unwanted effects are seen so far.

Although none of the vaccines can 100% protect those fully vaccinated and even boosted to getting infected from the virus, tens, if not hundreds of studies, show that vaccines are working great in preventing hospitalizations and Covid-19 related deaths in most of the cases so far.

This is especially important with the Omicron variant in place because a booster dose of the vaccines by far decreases the chance one to be infected with the recently discovered variant.

Children tend to suffer less serious illness from COVID-19 than adults. But child hospitalizations are rising during the omicron wave — most of them unvaccinated.

Pediatrician and global health expert Dr. Philip Landrigan of Boston College welcomed the FDA’s decisions, but stressed that the main need is to get the unvaccinated their first shots.

“It is among unvaccinated people that most of the severe illness and death from COVID will occur in coming weeks,” he said in an email. “Many thousands of lives could be saved if people could persuade themselves to get vaccinated.”

According to the recently provided data by CDC, nearly 13.5 million children aged 12-15 are fully vaccinated so far which is only half of the whole number of that age group.