Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is 93% effective in preventing COVID hospitalizations in 12 to 18-year-olds, according to a new study.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study looked at 464 hospitalized adolescent patients — 179 of whom had Covid-19 and 285 who were hospitalized for other reasons.
Of those 179 hospitalized with COVID, 97% were unvaccinated. The majority had at least one underlying condition.
The study, according to its authors, helps to “reinforce the importance of vaccination to protect U.S. youths against severe COVID-19.”
“These data suggest that increasing vaccination coverage among this group could reduce the incidence of severe COVID-19 in the United States,” the authors said.
The study shows that the effectiveness of Pfizer varies slightly among age groups, with 91% effectiveness for those aged 12 to 15 and 94% for those aged 16 to 18.
The study included only those who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, having received their second dose at least 14 days before the onset of illness.
CDC data shows that more than 65,000 children have been hospitalized with COVID-19 and close to 700 have died since August 2020.
The study authors noted it is “imperative” to enact “preventive measures to reduce the incidence of severe COVID-19 among adolescents, including vaccination,” particularly as more kids return to in-person schooling.
As of Monday, just 46% of 12 to 15-year-olds and 54% of those aged 16 to 17 are fully vaccinated, according to the study.
Last week, Pfizer asked federal regulators to authorize emergency use of the vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11.
“With new cases in children in the U.S. continuing to be at a high level, this submission is an important step in our ongoing effort against COVID-19,” the pharmaceutical giant said.
A decision by the Food and Drug Administration could come as soon as Halloween.