Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup expands use of Pfizer booster for 12- to 15-year-olds

Third vaccine dose for certain immunocompromised children authorized for 5- to 11-year olds  

Jan. 8, 2022 — SALEM—On Jan. 6, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup completed its review of the federal process and has recommended expanding Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose eligibility to anyone 12 years of age and older who completed their primary vaccination series at least five months ago. 

The Workgroup also confirmed the federal authorization of a third vaccine dose for certain immunocompromised children ages 5 to 11. The Workgroup provided its confirmation to the governors of California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington today. 
"Vaccines and boosters are critical tools in our fight against COVID-19, Omicron, and future variants,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. “With today's review by leading doctors, pediatricians and health experts, Oregon youth, parents and families can be confident in the safety and effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech booster doses. It's normal to have questions about vaccines — please, reach out to your family health care provider to get your questions answered, and find a vaccine or booster appointment near you today."
The Workgroup recommended the following actions regarding the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Expand the use of a single Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose to include use in individuals 12 through 15 years of age;
  • Shorten the time between the completion of primary vaccination of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and a booster dose to at least five months;
  • Allow for a third primary series dose for certain immunocompromised children 5 through 11 years of age.

The Oregon Health Authority will inform health care providers that booster shots for newly eligible individuals can begin in Oregon now.
On Monday, Jan. 3, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the expanded use of the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot and the CDC affirmed those decisions on Wednesday. The Workgroup reviewed and affirmed the federal decisions Thursday morning.
Washington, Oregon and Nevada joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup in October 2020. The workgroup, made up of nationally-acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health, has concurrently and independently reviewed the FDA’s actions related to COVID-19 vaccines. It will continue to evaluate other COVID-19 vaccines as they go through the federal process.
For more information, visit healthoregon.org/coronavirus and governor.oregon.gov.