Nov 29 (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) said on Monday everyone aged 18 years and older
should get a booster shot, as it looks to tackle a new and
highly infectious strain of the coronavirus that is quickly
spreading across the globe.
The update comes after President Joe Biden on Monday called
for wider vaccination to curb the spread of the Omicron
coronavirus variant, which was first detected in southern
The U.S. health regulators last week expanded the
eligibility for booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines to all adults
aged 18 and older either six months after their initial Pfizer
or Moderna vaccine doses or two months after
their Johnson & Johnson shot.
The CDC had, however, stopped short of saying all adults
aged 18 to 49 should get the additional shots.
The agency is taking a more cautious stance as Omicron's
emergence further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and
boosters, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement on
Amid the renewed emphasis, Pfizer and partner BioNTech
are expected to ask the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) in the coming days to authorize their
booster shots for those aged 16 and 17 years, the Washington
Post reported on Monday, citing sources.
Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported https://on.wsj.com/3E5Mgvq
that the FDA could approve booster doses for 16 and 17
year-olds as soon as next week.
Pfizer, BioNTech and the FDA did not respond to Reuters'
requests for comment.
Omicron, which the World Health Organization said carried a
very high risk for fueling infection surges, has now been
confirmed in several countries including Germany, Hong Kong,
South Africa and Canada.
Scientists in the United States and around the world are
urgently examining vaccine effectiveness related to this
variant, the CDC said.
The agency also said the 47 million adults who are not yet
vaccinated are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; additional
reporting by Shubham Kalia; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and