Springfield health agencies brace themselves as FDA clears COVID-19 booster shots for older teens

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Older teens were cleared to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster starting Thursday.

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized urgently the young people of 16 and 17 years to receive a third dose of the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech. These teens are eligible if it has been six months since their last COVID-19 shot.

There are a few things parents should keep in mind before trying to make an appointment. Many health systems and organizations, including the Jordan Valley Community Health Center, will not be able to offer reminders to 16 and 17 year olds until the state approves these guidelines. The state could issue new guidelines as early as next week.

According to the Jordan Valley Community Health Center, once approved, 16 and 17-year-olds can show up, but they will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Jordan Valley doctors say the booster is more important than ever, even for teens who have just become eligible.

“What we do know from the initial data on these boosters is that they are very important in maximizing your immunity against COVID variants,” said Dr Clint Strong, general practitioner for Jordan Valley. “We do not yet know all the information on the variant of the omicron strain, but we do know that the booster improves longevity and strength of immunity against COVID-19.”

According to health officials, we still don’t have all the answers about the omicron variant and the booster will help provide more protection. The Springfield-Greene County Department of Health said as soon as the state gives the go-ahead, it will administer booster shots to newly eligible teens by the next business day.

KY3 also spoke to officials at Mercy Hospital about the new FDA approval for the booster injections.

“We can’t stop at the only two-part series for 16 and 17 year olds, they really need a refresher just like the adults,” said Dr William Sistrunk, Mercy’s infectious disease physician. . “We are also seeing more pediatric patients with Delta. “

Doctors say the booster may help improve immunity and prevent severe symptoms of COVID-19 variants.

“Based on the initial data that came out on boosters, they are very important in maximizing your immunity against COVID variants,” said Dr. Sistrunk.

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