The U.S. is expanding COVID-19 boosters, opening a third dose of Pfizer's vaccine to people as young as age 16.
The U.S. and many other nations already urge adults to get a booster to pump up their immunity months after initial vaccination.
In the U.S., the Pfizer vaccine is the only option for children and teenagers.
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday cleared an extra dose for those ages 16 and 17, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rapidly endorsed a booster for those ages.
"Today, CDC is strengthening its booster recommendations and encouraging everyone 16 and older to receive a booster shot," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a press release. "Although we don’t have all the answers on the Omicron variant, initial data suggests that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen the protection against Omicron and other variants."
“It is wonderful news that everyone 16 and older can now get a booster. Almost 500,000 Utah residents have already gotten their booster dose and now we can protect even more people,” said Dr. Leisha Nolen, state epidemiologist at the Utah Department of Health. “Booster doses give an extra layer of protection against COVID-19. As we move into the winter months, we encourage everyone who is eligible to get a booster dose to go get their shot so that they can have a safe holiday season. If you're someone who hasn't gotten a COVID-19 vaccine yet, please get one now.”
The CDC recommends that the booster be received six months after their second COVID vaccine shot.
It's not clear if younger teens will need one.