Rockville, Md., March 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Abt Associates shows that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is moderately effective against the Omicron variant for children ages 5-15. It reduced the risk of infection by 31% for children aged 5 to 11 and by 59% for children aged 12 to 15.

The Pediatric Research Observing Trends and Exposures in COVID-19 Timelines (PROTECT) study, which used real-world data, found that the vaccine was moderately effective against Delta and Omicron infections and that vaccinated children spent less sick times in bed than unvaccinated children with Omicron infection.

The study involved 1,364 children from Arizona, Florida, Texasand Utah who submitted weekly nasal swabs and surveys to July 2021 by February 2022whether or not they have symptoms.

“Without regular weekly testing, you will miss many infections, especially in children, who often have mild symptoms,” said Lauren Olsho, the principal investigator of the PROTECT study. “Other studies of pediatric vaccine effectiveness have relied on lab test data or health records and typically only captured cases where a child had symptoms and received medical care. With the increased use of rapid home tests, studies like ours are needed to provide more complete information on infection rates and vaccine effectiveness.

The CDC noted that the PROTECT study is one of the largest studies with routine weekly COVID-19 testing, regardless of COVID-19-like symptoms. The CDC also said the study could provide a better understanding of factors that may affect infection risk, such as sociodemographic characteristics, health information, frequency of close social contact, mask use, the location and local circulation of the virus. This insight provided more accurate estimates of vaccine efficacy in preventing symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 infection after a series of two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccinations.

The researchers warned that vaccinated children wore masks to school more often than unvaccinated children, which could have affected the results. Additionally, despite the sample size and location diversity, it is not clear whether the results are generalizable to all 50 states.

About Abt Associates

Abt Associates is a global consulting and research firm that combines data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people’s lives. We work in partnership with customers and communities to advance equity and innovation, from creating scalable digital solutions to fighting infectious diseases, mitigating climate change and assessing programs for measurable social impact, and more.

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SOURCEAbt Associates

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