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FDA Authorizes & CDC Recommends Booster Shots for Older Teens

by | Dec 10, 2021 | Wellness Blog: Covid

Updated Booster Guidance for 16-and-17-year-olds

On December 9, the Food and Drug Administration authorized third booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for 16-and-17-year-olds. Hours later CDC Director Walensky signed off on third shots for the age group and issued updated booster guidance. Walensky said in a statement that initial data suggest a third shot may help with strengthening protection against Omicron and other variants. “We know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective,” she said, urging 16-and-17-year-olds to get the booster. The prompt action taken by the CDC means teens in this age group can immediately make their appointments.

On Tuesday a first study on Omicron was posted online showing the new variant has extensive escape of the Pfizer vaccine. The South African study found antibodies from people having received the Pfizer jab were 41 times less effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant compared with the original virus.

On Wednesday, Pfizer and BioNTech issued a joint statement that seemed to reaffirm the South African study, saying its two-dose vaccine does not provide sufficient protection against infection with the Omicron coronavirus variant. Although the companies studies showed a significant 25-fold reduction in neutralization titers against Omicron as compared to the origin wild-type virus, they did reaffirm however that the two-dose vaccine regimen would still protect against severe COVID-19 disease. The companies said their preliminary data showed a booster dose increased protection back up 25-fold to nearly the same levels that its two-dose vaccines provide against the earlier strain of the virus.

New COVID-19 Variant Facts: What We Know So Far. 4U Health. Updated December 7, 2021.

5 Reasons To Keep PCR Home COVID Test Kits on Hand. 4U Health. Updated December 6, 2021.

Ditch Nose Swabs for a Home Saliva PCR Covid Test Kit. 4U Health. Updated December 6, 2021.

About 4U Health

4U Health offers at-home lab testing to help you feel like your best self. Visit us at to learn about our COVID-19 Antibody Self-Collection At Home Test Kit, explore healthy living and wellness topics, and view our full at-home lab testing menu.

If you’re interested in home PCR COVID test kits to detect COVID-19 (including Omicron and its other variants), check out 4U Health’s COVID-19 Active Infection Self-Collection Test. It’s approved for children 5+ and adults alike. For the timeliest results, we recommend having our “just-in-case” saliva kit stocked in your medicine cabinet so you can test on your terms. Overnight shipping is included and results are typically within 24 hours of receipt by the lab.


Sigal, A SARS-CoV-2 Omicron has extensive but incomplete escape of Pfizer BNT162b2 elicited neutralization and requires ACE2 for infection. URL. Posted December 7, 2021. Accessed December 8, 2021.

Updated: December 9, 2021