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Pfizer to seek approval for Covid booster for 16 and 17 year olds

WASHINGTON – Pfizer is expected to seek clearance this week for a Covid-19 vaccine booster for 16 and 17-year-olds, a source familiar with the process told NBC News on Monday.

If approved, the Pfizer-BioNTech supplemental vaccine would mark the first vaccine booster for adolescents under the age of 18.

The Washington Post first reported the planned move.

The Food and Drug Administration’s request for regulatory approval is expected to arrive this week, but no deadline has been set for when the department would act.

The department, which declined to comment on Monday evening, cleared booster shots for all adults earlier this month from Pfizer and Moderna.

The move comes as a new variant of the coronavirus, known as omicron, spreads around the world, worrying experts and prompting President Joe Biden to urge caution and once again implore Americans to be get vaccinated.

“The best protection against this new variant or any of the existing variants, the ones we have already dealt with, is to get fully vaccinated and receive a booster,” Biden said earlier Monday. “Most Americans are fully immunized, but not yet boosted.”

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said all adults should receive Covid-19 booster shots when they are eligible, hitting a much louder tone than its recommendations just a few weeks ago.

“Everyone 18 and over should get a booster shot… when they are 6 months after their first Pfizer or Moderna series,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. Anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine at least two months ago would also be eligible.

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