Canada authorizes Pfizer COVID-19 booster for 16 and 17-year-olds

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FILE PHOTO: Pfizer vaccine photo illustration

(Reuters) - Canada on Wednesday authorized a single booster shot of Pfizer and partner BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for 16- and 17-year-olds.

Regulator Health Canada had cleared an extra dose of the vaccine for people 18 and older in November last year. The booster is meant to be administered six months after the primary two-dose series.

The decision was based on data from two studies of the booster shot among individuals 16 and older. The agency said potential risks of inflammatory heart conditions, myocarditis or pericarditis, have been included in the shot's label.

The cases have been reported after administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna's COVID-19 shot, especially among young men. Health Canada had authorized a primary series of Pfizer's shot for those 16 and older in December 2020.

In the United States, a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, branded Comirnaty, is cleared for use among children as young as five years.

(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru)