FRIDAY, Sept. 15, 2023 (HealthDay News) — For children younger than 5 years, receiving two or three doses of the wild-type BNT162b2 vaccine is associated with a reduced risk for COVID-19 encounters in the emergency department or urgent care or in outpatient settings, according to a research letter published online Sept. 15 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Sara Y. Tartof, Ph.D., M.P.H., from Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, and colleagues estimated the association between receipt of the wild-type BNT162b2 vaccine and medically attended COVID-19 outcomes among children younger than 5 years. Data were included for 24,261 emergency department, urgent care, or outpatient acute respiratory infection encounters (48, 29, and 23 percent, respectively) during the study period.
The researchers found that 10 percent had positive test results for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and 6 percent were vaccinated. Overall, 3.3 and 6.3 percent of cases and controls (without positive test results for SARS-CoV-2), respectively, were vaccinated with two or three doses of BNT162b2. For children who received two or three doses of BNT162b2, the adjusted odds ratio was 0.70, 0.60, and 0.67 for a COVID-19-related emergency department or urgent care encounter, outpatient visits, and either outcome, respectively. The risk for a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2 during emergency department or urgent care and outpatient encounters among those who received two and three doses was 0.56 and 0.88, respectively.
“Updated vaccines will likely be needed to maintain protection against contemporary omicron strains in young children,” the authors write.
Several authors disclosed ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, which funded the study.
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