CDC expands booster shot recommendations for 16 and 17-year-olds

An additional protection in the fight against COVID-19

Allie Wang, Editor-in-Chief

On Dec. 9, the CDC made the decision to strengthen booster recommendations for 16 and 17-year-olds, citing the Omicron variant. 

“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,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “We know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and I strongly encourage adolescents ages 16 and 17 to get their booster if they are at least 6 months post their initial Pfizer vaccination series.”

As of now, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is authorized for adolescents ages 16 and 17. 2.6 million teens are eligible for this shot. 

“The booster vaccination increases the level of immunity and dramatically improves protection against COVID-19 in all age groups studied so far,” said Dr. Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech in an interview with CNN. “In the current situation, it is important to offer everyone a booster, particularly against the background of the newly emerging variants such as Omicron.”