Pfizer’s COVID vaccine less effective against Omicron in younger youngsters, new study suggests

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Two photographs of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine had been less effective at curbing the chance posed by the Omicron variant in younger youngsters in comparison with older age teams, in keeping with new knowledge revealed this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Figures revealed late Thursday by the CDC from its COVID-NET hospital surveillance present that charges of COVID-19 hospitalizations had been decrease via the tip of January amongst vaccinated Americans of any age, in comparison with the unvaccinated.

However, the smallest gaps had been amongst youngsters ages 5 to 17 years outdated. Hospitalization charges had been six occasions increased in unvaccinated adults in comparison with the vaccinated. Rates had been thrice increased in unvaccinated 5- to 11-year-olds and two occasions increased in unvaccinated 12- to 17-year-olds.

The CDC additionally published a new study Friday in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report estimating that two photographs of the Pfizer vaccine was 31% effective against Omicron variant infections in youngsters ages 5 to 11.  

Vaccine effectiveness amongst adolescents ages 12 to fifteen against Omicron was nearly double that, at 59%, although the study’s authors cautioned that “wide and overlapping” statistical uncertainty across the two figures recommended that they “might not be significantly different.” 

Researchers often examined youngsters enrolled throughout 4 states — Arizona, Florida, Texas, and Utah — beginning in July 2021. During the time of the Delta variant’s dominance, the study discovered vaccine effectiveness amongst adolescents was 87% against an infection. 

“Other pediatric vaccine effectiveness studies relied on lab testing data or health records and generally captured only cases where a child had symptoms and received health care. With increased use of home rapid testing, studies like ours are needed to provide more comprehensive information on rates of infection and vaccine effectiveness,” stated principal investigator Lauren Olsho in a launch from Abt Associates, whose scientists co-authored the study. 

Vaccinated youngsters in the study inhabitants who did catch COVID spent on common a half day time less sick in mattress, in comparison with the unvaccinated youngsters who bought sick. However, the study’s authors additionally famous that the 2 teams reported behaving in a different way: vaccinated youngsters had been extra more likely to say they wore face masks and reported lacking extra days of college when sick. 

A rising variety of research have discovered declining vaccine effectiveness through the Omicron interval in individuals who haven’t acquired a booster shot, together with amongst youngsters

Pfizer and BioNTech have stated they count on to have knowledge from their trials early next month that would permit regulators to greenlight a 3rd dose for youngsters. 

In a press release, the CDC stated the company continues to suggest COVID-19 vaccination as “a safe and critical tool to protect children and teens regardless of their health status.”

While youngsters 5 to 17 years outdated are generally less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than adults, hundreds of kids have died from the illness and plenty of extra have confronted extreme issues from COVID-19. 

The CDC recently said dad and mom might be able to area out their youngsters’s first two photographs as a lot as eight weeks, as a option to probably increase vaccine effectiveness and cut back the chance of uncommon coronary heart irritation uncomfortable side effects linked to the vaccine.

A separate study co-authored by CDC scientists launched Friday — which was posted as a preprint that has not but been peer-reviewed — discovered that charges of hospitalization throughout COVID-19 amongst youngsters general exceeded that from earlier flu seasons, even earlier than the report Omicron wave that drove a record surge in hospitalizations of kids. 

However, the Biden administration has thus far struggled to influence many dad and mom to vaccinate their youngest eligible youngsters, with the early rollout having lagged that of older ages.

Only about 26.6% of kids 5 to 11 years outdated are fully vaccinated. 

Through the tip of January, an ongoing CDC survey discovered the share of oldsters saying they “probably or definitely” won’t get their 5- to 11-year-old baby vaccinated had climbed to 31%. 

“Data show that vaccines are one of the most effective ways to keep people, including children, safe from COVID-19 by preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death,” Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine’s high well being official and president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials said last week.

Shah’s assertion got here after Florida’s surgeon common sparked controversy by transferring to discourage getting youngsters vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Now is the time to help more families and communities protect themselves through vaccination,” stated Shah.

Alexander Tin

CBS News reporter protecting public well being and the pandemic.