The Pfizer vaccine has been less effective against Covid-19 in kids aged 5-11 as compared to its effectiveness in adults. Researchers from the New York State Department of Health and the University at Albany School of Public Health, US, estimated the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID cases and hospitalisations. It is found that the effectiveness of the Pfizer shots against infection caused by the Omicron variant fell from 68 per cent to just 12 per cent in children 5 to 11 years old within one month of being fully vaccinated.
The data comes as New York City plans to end its school mask mandate, with California doing the same four days later. State governments are easing mandates and restrictions as Covid infections decline dramatically after the omicron variant swept the nation in December and January.
“In the Omicron era, the effectiveness against cases of BNT162b2 (Pfizer) declined rapidly for children, particularly those 5-11 years,” the authors of the study said.
“However, vaccination of children 5-11 years was protective against severe disease and is recommended,” they added. The researchers said these results highlight the potential need to study alternative vaccine dosing for children and the continued importance of layered protections, including mask-wearing, to prevent infection and transmission.