A new study states that the Pfizer BioNTech COVID vaccine's efficacy on children falls significantly in the weeks after vaccination, following Omicron's spread.
The study, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, analysed COVID-19 vaccination data from December 2021 and January 2022 to arrive at the conclusion.
It found that the vaccine was protective against severe disease in children aged 5 to 11 during the recent Omicron variant surge, but quickly lost most of its ability to prevent infection in the age group.
The vaccine's efficacy against infection among those children declined to 12 percent at the end of January from 68 percent in mid-December compared to kids who did not get vaccinated, according the study, which has not yet been peer reviewed.
The data was taken from 852,384 fully-vaccinated children aged 12-17 and 365,502 children aged 5-11, from New York State and compared COVID-19 incident ratios to vaccine status and effectiveness to reach its conclusions.
For those aged 12 to 17, the vaccine's protection against infection fell to 51 percent in late January from 66 percent in mid-December.
The data was taken from children who were fully vaccinated from 13 December 2021 to 2 January 2022.
The researchers added that vaccine efficiency against hospitalisation fell from 85 percent to 73 percent for children 12-17 years and from 100 percent to 48 percent in children aged 5-11 years.
Should Children Aged 5-11 Get Vaccinated?
Yes. While the Pfizer vaccine may show a decline in efficacy in children aged 5-11 over the weeks following vaccination, the study adds that it protects against severe COVID-19 and is highly recommended.
The researchers added that this is a sign to consider alternative dosing patterns for children.
They also reiterated that it's important to uphold other measures like mask-wearing and layered protection to protect against transmission of COVID-19.
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