CDC study suggests COVID-19 vaccine protects adolescents against severe illnesses

NEWS DIGEST – The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has shown signs of reducing the risk of Omicron associated hospitalization and severe diseases among adolescents between 12 and 18 years of age, according to a journal published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The emergence of the B.1.1.529 Omicron Variant led to spike in the U.S. hospitalizations for the Coronavirus disease and has generated questions on immune evasion and the duration of protection from vaccines in children and adolescents.

The study, which was funded by the Centre for Disease Control, found that adolescents who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 when the delta strain was predominant were 92% less likely to report to the hospital within the next 23 to 44 weeks on Covid-19 related issues.

However, when Omicron was more prevalent, the study showed a 40% vaccine effectiveness against Covid-19 hospitalization and a 20% effectiveness against non critical Covid-19.

“During the Omicron period vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization among children 5 to 11 years of age was 68%,” the research found.

Although the paper was publised on March 30, the CDC announced the findings of the research “BNT162b2 Protection against the Omicron Variant in Children and adolescents” on Monday.

The results of the findings were tallied from 1185 case patients— 1043, which stands at 88%, of whom died from Covid-19— and 1627 controls.

Based on the data provided, vaccine effectiveness in adolescents was limited to measuring effectiveness for approximately 3 months after vaccination, and the emergence of the new Omicron variant.

It indicates that effectiveness of two doses against COVID-19 wanes and is lower against the Omicron Variant than against Delta variant.

This would mean that the Pfizer-BioNTech provides lower protection against Omicron associated hospitalizations than Delta associated hospitalizations.

Equally, the durability of protection against severe COVID-19 after full vaccination which signifies the receipt of two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech remains uncertain but may well be discovered as vaccination campaigns continue.

It concludes that Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduces the risk of Omicron associated hospitalizations by two thirds among 5 to 11 years of age.

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