In May 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine for children 12 years of age and older. Between July 1 and Oct. 25, 2021, CDC researchers studied admissions to 31 hospitals in 23 states to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing severe illness (Olson SM, Newhams MM, Halasa AM, et al. Effectiveness of BNT162b2 Vaccine against Critical Covid-19 in Adolescents. N Engl J Med. 2022 Feb. 24;386(8):713-723. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2117995.).

Of the case patients, 180 (40%) were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and 127 (29%) required life support; only 2 patients in the ICU had been fully vaccinated. The overall effectiveness of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine against hospitalization for COVID-19 was 95%. The vaccine was also 98% effective against ICU admission and 98% effective at preventing illness requiring life support. All 7 deaths occurred in patients who were unvaccinated.

This paper confirms previous findings in otherwise healthy young adults that protection against serious illness holds up after two doses of mRNA vaccines in adolescents.

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