Children ages five through 11 are now eligible for a booster shot of Pfizer's COVID vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration issued the authorization today as one top official said the benefits of the third shot for kids outweigh any risks.

Today’s action by the FDA expands the use of a single booster dose of the vaccine for administration to individuals 5 through 11 years age at least five months after completion of a primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must decide whether to formally recommend the booster for this age group.

The CDC’s scientific advisers are scheduled to meet on Thursday.

FDA Commissioner Robert Califf says there have been more children hospitalized due to COVID since the Omicronvariant became the dominant strain in the country.

Governor Kathy Hochul says the FDA approval is welcome news.

“I know this is particularly welcome news for parents and guardians all over New York who have been patiently waiting to give their children the extra-layer of protection that the booster dose provides against serious illness from COVID-19,” said Governor Hochul. “Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation, New York will be ready to offer boosters to this newly eligible population.”

Hochul is urging parents to get their kids boosted as soon as they're eligible.

The governor says there is no better time than now, so that our children are protected against COVID-19 as they head into summer vacation and gear up for the upcoming school year.

She says the state will continue to make sure these tools are available to all New Yorkers as we work together to move safely forward through this pandemic.

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