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08th Mar 2022

Covid vaccine for kids 5 to 11 offers ‘significantly less’ protection than expected

Trine Jensen-Burke

Covid vaccine for kids 5 to 11

Not the result they were hoping for.

According to data collected during the recent Omicron surge in New York state, researchers discovered that the Pfizer vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11 was shown to be significantly less effective at preventing infection than the same vaccine for kids and teens ages 12 and up, which uses a larger dose.

Children in the 12 to 17 age group receive two doses of the 30 microgram Pfizer shot, whereas kids in the 5 to 11 age group receive two doses of the 10 microgram shot – which is one-third of the dosage.

Worryingly, the US researchers noted a steep decline in effectiveness of the vaccine for younger kids in a one-month period following vaccination.

Conducting their study between December last year and January of this year, researchers compared the rates of Covid cases and hospitalizations in kids ages 12 to 17 to kids ages 5 to 11 within two weeks of being fully vaccinated.

The research has yet to be certified by peer review, however, from what the researchers found, was that the dosage difference may seem to matter quite a lot. Protection from infection in older kids decreased from 66 percent to 51 percent during the time span, while in younger kids, protection dropped from 68 percent to just 12 percent in the same time. Most notably, during the week of Jan. 24 to 30, vaccine effectiveness in 12-year-olds was at 67 percent, whereas for 11-year-olds, it was at just 11 percent.

In other words, the decline in vaccine effectiveness in the 5- to 11-year-olds was quite drastic.

However, the researchers are keen to point out that protection against hospitalisation and severe disease did stay fairly strong in both age groups. In older kids, it dropped from 85 percent to 73 percent between December and January, and in younger kids, it dropped from 100 percent to 48 percent.