KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine is 93 per cent effective against hospitalisation in adolescents aged 12 to 18, according to a new report released by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday.
The study — which tracked 464 Covid-19 patients (179 case-patients and 285 controls) ages 12 to 18 across 19 paediatric hospitals in the US from June to September — reported 72 per cent of the patients having at least one underlying condition that raised their potential for severe symptoms. These included asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular system disorder.
Researchers found that among the 179 Covid-19 case-patients, only six were fully vaccinated and 173 were unvaccinated.
“These data suggest that increasing vaccination coverage among this group could reduce the incidence of severe Covid-19 in the United States,” CDC researchers wrote in their report.
Overall, 77 (43 per cent) case-patients required intensive care and 29 (16 per cent) critically ill case-patients received life support during hospitalisation, including invasive mechanical ventilation, vasoactive infusions, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Two of the 29 critically patients (7 per cent) died, according to the study.
The CDC’s findings are similar to the results of a study conducted in Israel, which found that Pfizer’s Covid vaccine was almost 92 per cent effective in preventing hospitalisation among 12- to 15-year-old patients. But the Israeli study did not feature enough cases to properly gauge the vaccine’s full effectiveness against Covid-19 hospitalisations, the CDC noted.
Researchers said the study was limited by its small sample size that prevented them from properly measuring vaccine effectiveness in patients with underlying conditions.
They added that they also could not determine the vaccine’s effectiveness against different variants and said some participants may have misrepresented their self-reported vaccination status.
The CDC approved Pfizer’s boosters for select high-risk groups last month, including those aged 65 and older, medically vulnerable adults, and those who are exposed to Covid-19 due to the nature of their work. Pfizer is currently waiting for the US Food and Drug Administration to authorise its shots for children 5 to 11.