Field study confirms effectiveness of Pfizer vaccine in adolescents

January 12, 2022

2 minutes to read

Source / Disclosures

Disclosures: Edwards claims to be a member of the Data Security and Monitoring Boards for Moderna, Pfizer, PPD Development and Sanofi. Please see the study for relevant financial information from all authors.


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A real-world study conducted in more than 30 US hospitals has shown that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 94% effective in preventing hospitalization for COVID-19 in adolescents aged 12 to 18.

The study, which was conducted when delta was the predominant variant of SARS-CoV-2, also found the vaccine to be 98% effective in preventing both ICU admission and the need for resuscitation. The seven deaths among the more than 1,200 adolescents enrolled in the study were among unvaccinated participants.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was very effective in a real-world study of American adolescents. Source: Adobe Stock

Study provided “impressive evidence” for vaccine effectiveness in adolescents, Healio Pediatrics Editorial Board member Kathryn M. Edwards, MD, written in an accompanying editorial.

“These extremely encouraging data indicate that almost all hospitalizations and deaths in this population could have been prevented by vaccination,” wrote Edwards, scientific director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program.

Researchers conducted a case-control and negative test study that included 445 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 disease and 777 patients hospitalized with non-COVID disease. Only 17 patient cases (4%) and 282 controls (36%) had been fully vaccinated.

Of the patients, 180 (40%) were admitted to the intensive care unit – only two were fully immunized – and 127 (29%) required resuscitation, the researchers reported.

They calculated that the overall effectiveness of the vaccine against hospitalization for COVID-19 was 94% (95% CI, 90% -96%). Efficacy was calculated as 95% (95% CI, 91% to 97%) in test negative controls and 94% (95% CI, 89% to 96%) in controls with the syndrome. negative.

The researchers called for “post-authorization monitoring of the efficacy” of vaccines “to understand the performance of vaccines under real conditions.”

“Vaccine protection may differ in adolescents with underlying medical conditions, who are overrepresented in hospital settings and are often excluded from clinical trials,” they wrote. “The effectiveness of the vaccine against the new variants and depending on the interval since vaccination may also vary.

In his editorial, Edwards said it was “distressing that less than 39% of adolescents in the control group were immune to COVID-19, despite uniform eligibility and widespread access to the vaccine.”

“It is also very problematic that three-quarters of patients have underlying conditions, that a disproportionate percentage are black (24%) or Hispanic (25%), and that almost half of the patients were recruited from Southern states where vaccination rates among adolescents have fallen behind, ”Edwards wrote.

The references:

Edwards KM. NOT English J Med. 2022; doi: 10.1056 / NEJMoa2118471.

Sara H. Byrd