The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday authorized a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.
Children in the age group can get a booster shot at least five months after they’ve received the primary two-dose series, the FDA said in a statement.
Full coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic
The booster shot is 10 micrograms, the same dosage as the primary series for the age group and a third of the dosage given to people ages 12 and up.
The FDA’s decision will now go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will make a recommendation about how the boosters should be used for the age group.
The CDC’s independent group of advisers, known as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, is expected to discuss the booster during a scheduled meeting Thursday. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is expected to issue a final recommendation following that meeting. Shots could begin as early as Friday.
Less than a third of the 28 million 5 -to-11-year-old children in the United States have received two doses of a Covid vaccine, according to data from the CDC.
Dr. Peter Marks, the FDA’s top vaccine regulator, noted Tuesday that parents can protect their children from “potentially severe consequences” of Covid by getting them vaccinated with the two-dose primary series.