The Food and Drug Administration has expanded its approval of COVID booster shots for 12-15 year-olds.
Monday’s approval of Pfizer’s vaccine by the FDA comes as the omicron variant continues its rapid post-holiday spread across the country.
“With the current wave of the omicron variant, it’s critical that we continue to take effective, life-saving preventative measures such as primary vaccination and boosters, mask wearing and social distancing in order to effectively fight COVID-19,” said acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock in a press release.
In making the decision, the FDA reviewed data from more than 6,300 individuals 12 through 15 years of age who received a booster dose of the vaccine.
In its announcement Monday, the FDA also noted that it would be updating the booster interval to five months after a second Pfizer dose, noting no new safety concerns for this age group.
The agency also gave its approval to a third primary dose for children 5-11 years of age, who have undergone organ transplant or who have certain serious immunocompromised conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory committee is expected to weigh-in on Pfizer boosters for those under 15 later this week.
On Monday the NC Department of Health and Human Services reported nearly 13,000 new COVID cases with more than 27% of tests conducted coming back positive for the virus.
There are 2,722 individuals currently hospitalized across North Carolina with COVID, a more than 10% increase since New Year’s Eve.
For the final week of 2021, North Carolina administered 51,767 COVID vaccines.