THURSDAY, June 30, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For children aged 5 to 11 years, two doses of BNT162b2 provide moderate protection against documented severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and symptomatic COVID-19, according to a study published online June 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Chandra J. Cohen-Stavi, Ph.D., from Clalit Health Services in Tel Aviv, Israel, and colleagues used data from the largest health care organization in Israel to estimate the vaccine effectiveness of BNT162b2 among a cohort of children aged 5 to 11 years vaccinated on or after Nov. 23, 2021, and matched unvaccinated controls. Vaccine effectiveness was estimated after the first and second vaccine doses against SARS-CoV-2 infection and symptomatic COVID-19. The cumulative incidence of each outcome was estimated through Jan. 7, 2022.

The researchers note that 94,728 of the 136,127 eligible children who had been vaccinated during the study period were matched with unvaccinated controls. At 14 to 27 days after the first dose and seven to 21 days after the second dose, the estimated vaccine effectiveness against documented infection was 17 and 51 percent, respectively. The corresponding estimated vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic COVID-19 was 18 and 48 percent. There was a trend toward higher vaccine effectiveness in the youngest age groups than the oldest age group (5 or 6 years of age versus 10 or 11 years of age).

“As omicron was becoming the dominant variant, two doses of the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine provided moderate protection against documented SARS-CoV-2 infection and symptomatic COVID-19 in children 5 to 11 years of age,” the authors write.

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