CDC releases reports on Pfizer vaccine effectiveness for children and Omicron

March 14, 2022

According to a release by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a prospective cohort study of children and adolescents aged 5–15 years that included routine weekly SARS-CoV-2 testing, irrespective of symptoms, 2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines were effective in preventing symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections, although effectiveness varied by variant. Vaccine effectiveness (VE) point estimates were highest against Delta variant infections among adolescents aged 12–15 years and lowest against Omicron variant infections among children aged 5–11 years.

The SARS-CoV-2 infections prevented by vaccination differed by variant. Approximately one half (51%) of all Omicron infections were asymptomatic compared with approximately one third (34%) of Delta infections. However, when children or adolescents experienced symptomatic COVID-19, the illnesses disrupted life at home and school; on average COVID-19 lasted 7 days, two of which were spent sick in bed, and resulted in 24 hours of missed school.

Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received <5 months earlier were moderately effective (31%) in preventing symptomatic and asymptomatic Omicron infection among children aged 5–11 years and 59% effective among adolescents aged 12–15 years. The wide and overlapping CIs indicate that these age-specific VE point estimates might not be significantly different and are similar to a recent report of VE of 45%–51% for 2 doses, received within 150 days, against Omicron COVID-19–associated emergency department and urgent care visits among children and adolescents aged 5–15 years. Participants who were infected with Omicron despite receipt of 2 vaccine doses spent an average of one-half day less sick in bed than did unvaccinated participants with Omicron infections. Also, similar to studies of children and adults, among adolescents aged 12–15 years, point estimates for VE of 2 doses received within the previous 150 days were lower against Omicron than Delta infections, although these differences were not statistically significant.

CDC Release

More on COVID