Jan. 5 (UPI) — A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel voted Wednesday to recommend Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 booster shot for 12-to-15-year-olds.
The decision brings the U.S. government one step closer to approving the vaccine booster for adolescents, which requires a final OK by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices reached the 13-1 vote after a 4-hour meeting reviewing the data. The Food and Drug Administration gave its own approval for the booster shot — to be given five months after the initial two-dose regimen — on Monday.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Dr. John Su of the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine task force told the ACIP that dizziness and fever were the most common side effects of the Pfizer booster shot for the age group in question.
Of the more than 4,200 reports of adverse side effects for 12-to-15-year-olds, 98% were for non-serious issues. The more serious side effects included fever and vomiting.
For children 5 to 15 years old, there were 277 cases of myocarditis — an inflammatory heart condition — reported in all doses of Pfizer COVID-19 shots.
Su said one child in this age group died after receiving the vaccine, and medical officials were investigating whether the vaccine played a role in the death.
Currently, everyone 5 years old and older is eligible to receive an initial one or two-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone 18 years old and older can receive a booster shot, and 16- and 17-year-olds are eligible to receive a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot, according to the CDC.