Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine Offers Little Protection Against Omicron In Children

A new study has found that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine provides almost no protection against infection of the Omicron variant in children between the ages of 5 and 11. Researchers from the New York State Department of Health found that a two-dose series of the vaccine was just 12% effective at preventing infection from the Omicron variant.

The vaccine does provide some protection against severe illness and is 48% effective at preventing those who are infected from requiring hospitalization.

The researchers also examined children between the ages of 12 and 17, who were given a higher dosage than younger children, and found that the vaccine’s effectiveness fell from 66% to 51% as the Omicron variant surged across the country. The vaccine’s effectiveness against hospitalization fell to 73% for that age group.

Based on the results of the study, which has not been peer-reviewed, many health experts are suggesting that children will also need a booster shot to ensure they remain protected against COVID-19 and its variants.

While booster shots for children under the age of 12 have not been authorized by the FDA, doctors are still urging parents to get their kids vaccinated because they do provide protection against severe disease and hospitalization.

“Each parent has to make her or his own decision about whether they want to vaccinate their child,” Dr. Cody Meissner, who heads the division of pediatric infectious diseases at Tufts Children’s Hospital in Boston, told USA Today. “A perfectly healthy child is very, very unlikely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 – that doesn’t mean it’s zero, but you have to think carefully about what’s in the best interest of the child.”

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