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FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine boosters for people age 16, 17

Federal Food and Drug Administration regulators Thursday authorized booster shots of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for 16- and 17-year-olds, a step officials hope will bolster protection against the latest delta surge and still emerging omicron variant.

The FDA’s decision came the day after new data from the companies suggested that boosters may play a critical role in helping to control the omicron variant by raising antibodies to block the virus, which echoed a finding by leading scientists in South Africa released earlier this week.

Director for the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Rochelle Walensky endorsed to move, citing early data indicating boosters strengthen the body’s defenses against COVID-19. She strongly encourages all eligible people get the boosters as soon as they are six months past their second COVID-19 vaccine.

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials reported 1,466 total cases of COVID-19 Dec. 10, with 1,021 confirmed. A total of 29 new deaths, with 23 confirmed, were also reported.

With 22,250 tests reported Friday, 5.6% were confirmed positive.

Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 63.8%
Percentage of of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 55.4%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 9.0%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 3.8%