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CDC: Pfizer Vaccine 93 Percent Effective in Teens

October 22, 2021

In a recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 93 percent effective in preventing hospitalization due to COVID-19 among children ages 12 to 18, and 91 percent effective for children age 12 to 15. The study was conducted on patients fully vaccinated with both doses of the vaccine at least 14 days prior to the onset of the illness. Those with either a first dose only, or less than 14 days since the second, were excluded from the analysis. Currently, only 48 percent of children in the United States ages 12 to 15 and 54 percent of those 16 to 17 are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. This is a smaller share than any other age group. “It is crucial for the majority of all people to be vaccinated to obtain herd immunity, which includes children,” says Nicole Orlando, a PA-C in family medicine with Hartford HealthCare Medical Group in Pawcatuck. “Children are more likely to have a mild disease course when infected with COVID, but we do not yet know the long-term consequences of the infection.” Vaccine eligibility for children 12 years and older was approved in May, and have proven safe and effective. Side effects reported for this 12- to 18-year-old age group have been similar to those of young adults, including sore arm, fever, chills and feeling tired (particularly after the second shot). The CDC, in previously released science briefs, has cautioned about COVID-19 spread by children who do not know they are both infected and infectious. They also state that children are less likely to develop serious illness or die from the virus. “As a parent I understand the concern of vaccinating your child with a vaccine that is new,” says Orlando. “As a family practice PA, I trust the data and facts, and feel that it is safe to obtain the COVID vaccine for your children, as long as they do not have any other vaccine allergic reactions or allergies to components of the vaccine.” Pfizer-BioNTech recently announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and highly effective for children aged 5 t0 11, the next group in line for the shot. The FDA advisory committee is scheduled to meet Oct. 26 to discuss Pfizer’s vaccine for this younger age group, which is typically the last step before the FDA gives its approval. Kids could start receiving the Pfizer vaccine sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving. To schedule an appointment with Nicole Orlando in Pawkcatuck, call 860.599.9961.