Families can now schedule Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots for children 16-17 years by appointment only at all Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) COVID-19 vaccine clinic locations. This is in response to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granting the booster emergency use authorization (EUA) for this age group on Thursday, Dec. 9, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsing it on the same day.
Children age 16-17 who had their previous Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines at least six months earlier can receive the booster shot.
“Preliminary research has shown that booster shots help strengthen our protection against new variants of COVID-19,” says infectious diseases physician Timothy Friel, MD, Chair, Department of Medicine, for LVHN. “Data suggest that levels of protection from the initial series can decrease with time. The additional shot six months after the initial series provides significant reduction in risk of acute illness and the other complications of COVID-19.”
While teenagers are less likely to be severely affected by COVID-19 than individuals in older age groups, they can still become infected, experience symptoms from the disease and need to be hospitalized. Some also develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a complication that involves inflammation of certain organs (including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs).