On Thursday, December 9, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot among 16- and 17-year-olds.

The booster is authorized for use at least six months after getting the second dose of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine – the only vaccine currently authorized for use among 16- and 17-year-olds.

“Vaccination and getting a booster when eligible, along with other preventive measures like masking and avoiding large crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, remain our most effective methods for fighting COVID-19.”
-Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., in a release

All U.S. adults have been authorized to receive COVID-19 boosters since November.

Expanding vaccine boosters to 16- and 17-year-olds is intended to help reduce cases of the rapidly spreading coronavirus Omicron variant.

What’s Next?

Health experts continue to emphasize the importance of vaccination for those eligible to receive the shots.

Parents of teens eligible for COVID-19 vaccines or boosters should speak with their children’s primary care physicians about vaccination.

Similarly, parents should look for updated guidance from school districts, which may require vaccination for in-person learning in 2022.


The content of this News Brief is of general interest and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances. It should not be regarded as legal advice and not be relied upon as such. In relation to any particular problem which they may have, readers as advised to seek specific advice.