LOS ANGELES, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday granted emergency use authorization for a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age at least five months after completion of the primary vaccine series.
On Jan. 3, the FDA authorized the use of a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 12 through 15 years of age after completion of primary vaccination.
The FDA's decision on Tuesday means anyone ages 5 and older is now eligible for at least one booster dose.
"While it has largely been the case that COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children than adults, the Omicron wave has seen more kids getting sick with the disease and being hospitalized, and children may also experience longer term effects, even following initially mild disease," said FDA Commissioner Robert Califf in a statement.
"The FDA is authorizing the use of a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age to provide continued protection against COVID-19," he said.