Aug 23, 2022 - Health

Pfizer says COVID vaccine 73% effective in children under 5

A young child receives a Moderna Covid-19 shot
A young child receives a COVID-19 shot in Needham, Mass. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Tuesday that new data showed their COVID-19 vaccine to be 73.2% effective against the virus in children aged 6 months to 4 years old.

Why it matters: Coming two months after shots for children under 5 were approved, the results back up earlier data that showed the Pfizer shot to be safe and effective for that age group.

The big picture: Children in the study received a three-dose regimen of either the vaccine or a placebo. The results showed that 13 children who received the vaccine had COVID-19 a week after their last dose, compared to 21 children who tested positive after receiving their last placebo shot, per the press release.

  • Most of the positive cases were diagnosed between March and June and caused by the Omicron BA.2 subvariant, which was dominant at the time. The BA.5 subvariant has since become the nation's dominant strain.
  • Pfizer said that it is working on a vaccine for children 6 months to 11 years old that targets the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron strains.

What they're saying: “We are pleased to share confirmatory evidence that a full course of vaccination helps protect against symptomatic disease, particularly during a time when the Omicron BA.2 strain was predominant,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in the press release.

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