The FDA announced Tuesday that it has opened the eligibility requirements for the Pfizer coronavirus booster to include children 5 to 11.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is expected to review and issue its recommendation Thursday, with boosters becoming available as early as Friday if approved.
The amended emergency use authorization means that upon CDC approval, children 5 to 11 will be able to receive a single coronavirus booster shot at least five months after receiving the initial two doses.
The FDA’s announcement comes as health officials are dealing with a wave of new infections by the omicron variant, which appears to be more able to breakthrough immunity granted by vaccines or prior infections.
“The omicron wave has seen more kids getting sick with the disease and being hospitalized, and children may also experience longer term effects, even following initially mild disease,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf in a statement.
Data from the CDC shows that less than a third of American children between the ages of 5 and 11 have currently received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine.