Many vaccinated children experienced breakthrough infections during the Omicron surge, while protection against hospitalization remained strong, but a large new government-sponsored study was found.
This study compared vaccinations for children aged 5 to 17 years who were treated in 10 states of Covid-19 Symptom Emergency Departments, Emergency Medical Centers, and Hospitals between April 2021 and February 2022. .. .. The study was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was published at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday. Weekly morbidity and mortality reports..
A new study will be conducted the day after new data from the New York State Department of Health also discovered that children’s vaccine protection against Covid-19 was significantly reduced during the Omicron wave.
The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine approved for people under the age of 18.
Children between the ages of 5 and 11 (the youngest and most recently vaccinated group) may seek treatment for Covid-19 in an emergency clinic or emergency room compared to unvaccinated children. Is about 46% lower.
This is about half of the expected protection after clinical trials have shown that the vaccine is about 91% effective in preventing disease in this age group.
The study’s author, Dr. Nicola Klein, believes that the decline in vaccine efficacy in this age group was not due to too low a dose or a significant difference in response to the vaccine with age. She says this is just a rapid evolution of the virus.
“It’s a little disappointing, but one of the complications here is that children began to be vaccinated at the end of last year, at the same time that the Omicron variants began to circulate,” Klein said. I did. Director of Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Research Center.
However, vaccinated primary school children remained less likely to be hospitalized for infections than unvaccinated children.
Of the approximately 1,700 hospitalizations, 59 unvaccinated children aged 5 to 11 years were hospitalized and only two were vaccinated after a positive Covid-19 test. In this study, there were not enough cases to accurately estimate the efficacy of the vaccine for hospitalization in this age group.
Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 receive three times as much Pfizer vaccine as injections in young children, and while they have better protection against most circulating mutants, their protection is time and omicron. It decreased sharply with the arrival of the mutant.
After more than 5 months from the second dose, children in this age group had no significant protection against Omicron infection that would guarantee emergency treatment or travel to the ER.
However, about a week after the booster shot, most of their protection seemed to be restored. Boosted teens between the ages of 16 and 18 need about 81% less need to see a Covid-19 doctor.
Throughout the 11 months of the study, fully vaccinated adolescents (ages 12-15) are 83% less likely to be infected with Covid-19 in the emergency room or clinic and are hospitalized until about 5 years of age. The chances are 92% lower. A few months after the second dose. Five months later, vaccination protection dropped to only 38% for ER or clinic visits in this age group and 73% for hospitalization.
Teens aged 16 to 17 years are 76% less likely to see Covid-19 on ER or emergency treatment and 94% less likely to be hospitalized for the first 5 months after the second dose. I did. Five months later, their protection dropped to 46% for clinic visits and 88% for hospitalizations.
This study is observational, meaning that the author cannot prove the cause and effect. Data were adjusted to explain the meaningful differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated children, but researchers found that between these groups, such as masking and possible physical distance. It states that there may have been a difference. result.
Still, researchers say it’s strong real-world data on how well vaccines protect children. They say children need to get the latest information on the Covid-19 vaccine, including boosters for all qualified children. Currently, the group is adolescents aged 12-18.
Klein said he thinks it makes sense that boosters are immediately recommended for young children.
“There’s pretty good evidence that boosters really strengthened protection for ages 16-17. I think that’s pretty well shown in the paper, and I hope it might be five years away. I don’t think it’s unreasonable until I’m 11 years old, “said Klein. “It’s definitely worth considering.”
Detailed findings show that new data from the New York State Department of Health show that vaccine efficacy against Covid-19 infection is significantly reduced for children during the Omicron surge, 68% for children aged 5-11 years. The next day, which showed a drop from to 12%. From 12 to 17 years old it was 66% to 51%. Even among Omicrons, protection against hospitalization remained stronger. The study found that infants had a 48% lower risk of being hospitalized with Omicron and adolescents had a 73% lower risk.
Experts who reviewed the study but did not participate in the study said parents should not lose confidence in the vaccine.
Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital, said: He pointed out that children can be infected with Covid-19 even if they are vaccinated, but the vaccine protects them from the worst harm of the virus.
“The goal of this vaccine is to prevent serious illness,” Offit said. He says both studies show that the vaccine keeps children away from the hospital.
In addition, these studies compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children, but children who are already infected with the virus and may have antibodies to future infections. Is not taken into account.
“Therefore, people who are considered unvaccinated may still have some protection, which means your efficacy rate will not look very good,” he said. “When they do these kinds of studies, none of these things are taken into account, so I think they tend to misrepresent vaccines.”