According to the WSJ, such a step is associated with growing concern about the spread of the omicron strain of coronavirus.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may next week allow the use of a booster dose of the Pfizer – BioNTech consortium vaccine for people aged 16 and 17 years. This was reported by The Wall Street Journal newspaper, citing a source familiar with the regulator’s plans.

According to the publication, such a move by the regulator is associated with growing concern about the spread of the omicron strain of coronavirus.

Previously, the FDA approved the use of a booster dose of Pfizer – BioNTech vaccine for people aged 18 years and older. The booster dose will be available at least six months after the introduction of the second component of the vaccine.

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the strain of coronavirus B.1.1.529, found in southern Africa, with the Greek letter “Omicron.” The WHO statement said that this variety “has a large number of mutations, a number of which are of concern.” Several changes in the spike protein at once can potentially make it difficult to neutralize the pathogen with antibodies, which can affect the effectiveness of vaccines. In addition, according to preliminary data, the strain has an increased ability to spread.