With the blessing of the Centers for Disease Control of Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, urgent care providers are now at liberty to administer booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine for patients as young as 16 years of age. The CDC made its recommendation the same day the FDA announced that it had expanded its Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to include 16- and 17-year-olds. As with adults, those boosters can be given starting 6 months after patients received the second shot in a two-dose regimen. The news comes at a time when the Omicron variant of the virus is driving case loads up—which the CDC addressed in its announcement. It read, in part, “Although we don’t have all the answers on the Omicron variant, initial data [suggest] that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen the protection against Omicron and other variants.” As of this writing, cases attributed to Omicron have been confirmed in 25 U.S. states.

It’s Officially Time to Start Offering COVID-19 Boosters to 16- and 17-Year-Olds