The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine boosters to children aged 12 to 15.

On Monday, the FDA also shortened the time for booster shots from at least six months after completion of the initial series to at least five months, for everyone aged 12 and older, reports Xinhua news agency.

Covid tests
Bengaluru:Health workers collect swab samples for COVID 19 tests at Majestic Busstand, after Omicron Coronavirus variants were found, in Bengaluru on Monday 27th December 2021.IANS

The agency has determined that the protective health benefits of a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to provide continued protection against the virus and the associated serious consequences outweigh the potential risks in individuals aged 12 to 15.

Global covid caseload

The agency said that it found "no new safety concerns" following a booster shot in young teenagers, and that there were no new reports of two types of heart inflammation called myocarditis or pericarditis linked to the boosters.

The decision came as the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly across the US and has led to record high hospitalisations among younger people.