The Food and Drug Administration has issued approval for a booster shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 12.
The Pfizer vaccine is the first booster shot to receive emergency authorization for young teens and pre-teens.
Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine was approved for use in adolescents in May. Parent Amanda Hill said her 12-year-old and 14-year-old asked for the vaccine after their whole family became sick with COVID in September, all except Hill who had been vaccinated.
“They both started asking 'can I get the vaccine?' and they wanted it as soon as they were able to get it,” Hill said.
The CDC has recommended adults seek a booster shot six months after their final dose. That means that many teens will immediately be eligible for additional shots as soon as they are available.
Dr. Anna Peoples said her pharmacy, Peoples Pharmacy in Norfolk, has the pediatric Pfizer vaccine in stock.
"We are really anxious to see that age group come into the pharmacy to get their vaccine because recently there has been an upsurge in hospitalizations among the children,” Peoples said. “I think that’s a critical move for us to ultimately defeat this pandemic."
The move comes as the U.S. deals with a surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the highly contagious omicron variant. While the new strain has shown to be slightly more resistant to vaccines, health officials say vaccines and booster shots offer significant protection against severe disease and death.