Dr. Salma Elfeki examines 16-year-old Diego Alvarez, a patient in a clinical trial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents being conducted by Axel Research Sites with the Nona Children’s Center in Orlando, Florida, Sept. 25, 2021.
Paul Hennessy | SOPA photos | Light Rocket | Getty Images
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a small study released Tuesday that the Pfizer Covid vaccine is 93% effective in protecting against hospitalization for 12 to 18-year-olds.
The CDC followed 464 Covid patients ages 12 to 18 spread across 19 US children’s hospitals from June to September when the delta variable was rising across the country. While nearly 72% of them had at least one underlying condition that increased their likelihood of developing severe symptoms, researchers found that 97% of those who ended up in the hospital were not vaccinated.
“These data suggest that increased vaccination coverage among this group could reduce the incidence of severe COVID-19 in the United States,” CDC researchers wrote in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Among the Covid patients, 6 were vaccinated and 173 were not. According to the study, 43% of children required intensive care, 16% of critically ill children received life support devices, with two deaths among the group.
The results of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are similar to those of a study conducted in Israel, which found that the Pfizer Covid vaccine was approximately 92% effective in preventing hospitalization among patients aged 12 to 15 years. But the Israeli study did not show enough cases to properly measure the full efficacy of the vaccine against Covid hospital admissions, the CDC wrote.
Pfizer is currently awaiting FDA approval to give its injections to children ages 5 to 11. The company released data in September indicating that the two-dose vaccine regimen resulted in a “strong” immune response among the younger cohort, and the US Food and Drug Administration could clear the shots later this month.
The CDC reports that 46% of 12- to 15-year-olds in the United States have been fully vaccinated against Covid, while 54% of 16- to 17-year-olds have received a full series of doses as of from Monday.