Pfizer booster available for 16, 17 year olds - Albuquerque Journal

Pfizer booster available for 16, 17 year olds

Scheduling for the COVID-19 Pfizer booster shot for 16- and 17-year-olds is now available, the New Mexico Department of Health announced Friday, following approvals by the FDA, CDC and the New Mexico Medical Advisory Team.

Pfizer is the only booster shot authorized at this time for those teens. Adults 18 and older can get a booster shot of any of the COVID vaccines authorized in the U.S.

The Pfizer booster dose should be administered about six months after the second of two primary shots.

Parents and guardians can register and schedule their children for a booster at vaccineNM.org, or can schedule directly with their health care provider.

The necessity of booster shots is underscored by recent data that suggests vaccinations become less effective over time, and they are especially important given the rise in delta-related cases and the uncertainty surrounding the omicron variant, according to the DOH.

While vaccinations don’t prevent a person from getting COVID, they are effective in preventing a person from becoming severely ill and needing to be hospitalized, say public health officials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review for Dec. 10 indicated the age-adjusted COVID-19-associated hospitalization rate among adults ages 18 years and older was eight times higher in unvaccinated people than those who were vaccinated. Age-specific rates of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations are 13 times higher among unvaccinated adults ages 18-49 years, 11 times higher among unvaccinated adults ages 50—64 years, and six times higher among unvaccinated adults ages 65 and older.

The state DOH on Friday reported 1,468 additional COVID-19 cases, 158 fewer than reported Thursday, bringing the total number of COVID cases to 329,778.

The 10 counties with the largest numbers of new cases were Bernalillo, with 366; Doña Ana, 191; San Juan, 86; Santa Fe, 84; Otero, 79; Roosevelt, 79; Valencia, 76; Sandoval, 67; Chaves, 54; and Eddy 51.

The DOH also reported 13 additional COVID deaths, one less than Thursday. The statewide total number of deaths related to COVID now stands at 5,472.

The youngest among those 13 deaths were two men in their 40s, from Santa Fe County and Otero County; the oldest were two men in their 90s, from Doña Ana County and Valencia County. All 13 deaths were men, all had underlying conditions, and all but one were hospitalized.

As of Friday, 691 people were hospitalized with the virus, 25 fewer than on Thursday. In all, 278,030 cases have been designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

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