Pfizer shot is far less effective in ages 5-11 than in older kids


Aaron E. Martinez, Austin American-Statesman via TNS

Dr. Allison Lopez, left, gives Oliver Howell, right, his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in November. The FDA has changed the emergency use authorization for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to allow for kids 12 to 15 to get a booster and kids 5 to 11 to get a third dose if they are immune compromised.

The coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech is much less effective in preventing infection in children ages 5-11 than in older adolescents or adults, according to a large new set of data collected by health officials in New York state - a finding that has deep ramifications for these children and their parents.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only COVID shot authorized for that age group in the United States. It still prevents severe illness in the children, but offers virtually no protection against infection, even within a month after full immunization, the data, which were collected during the omicron surge, suggest.

The sharp drop in the vaccine's performance in young children may stem from the fact that they receive one-third the dose given to older children and adults, researchers and federal officials who have reviewed the data said.


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