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Pfizer to seek authorization for Covid booster for teens 16 and 17

If it is authorized, the additional Pfizer-BioNTech shot would be the first vaccine booster for teens younger than 18.

WASHINGTON — Pfizer is expected to seek authorization this week for a Covid-19 vaccine booster for teenagers 16 and 17 years old, a source familiar with the process said Monday.

If it is granted emergency use authorization, the additional Pfizer-BioNTech shot would be the first vaccine booster for teens younger than 18.

The Washington Post first reported the expected move.

The application for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration is expected to come this week. No timeline was provided for when the agency would act.

The FDA, which declined to comment Monday night, authorized booster shots from Pfizer and Moderna for all adults on an emergency basis this month.

A new variant of the coronavirus, known as omicron, is spreading around the world, worrying experts and pushing President Joe Biden to urge caution and again implore people to get inoculated.

"The best protection against this new variant or any of the variants out there, the ones we've been dealing with already, is getting fully vaccinated and getting a booster shot," Biden said Monday. "Most Americans are fully vaccinated but not yet boosted."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that all adults should get Covid-19 booster shots when they are eligible, striking a much stronger tone than it did in its recommendations just a few weeks ago.

“Everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot ... when they are 6 months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series,” the CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said in a statement. Anyone who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine shot at least two months ago would also qualify.