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A Drop

A new study finds that though Pfizer and BioNTech SARS-CoV-2's vaccine was less effective at preventing Omicron variant-fueled infections among children, it did prevent severe disease, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The study, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Emergency Response Team, examined urgent care visit and hospitalization rates of vaccinated and unvaccinated children between the ages of 5 and 17 with COVID-19 during the Delta and Omicron waves as well as prior to the Delta variant wave. As they report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the researchers found two doses of the vaccine reduced the risk of infection by 51 percent among 5-to-11-year olds and by 45 percent among 12-to-17-year olds during the Omicron wave. It, meanwhile, reduced the risk of hospitalization by 74 percent and 92 percent, respectively.

Earlier this week, a study from New York State health officials also reported a drop in vaccine efficacy among 5-to-11-year olds, as compared to both adolescents and adults.

"The two papers do confirm that there's a pretty rapid loss of protection," Tufts University's Cody Meissner, who is in on a Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisory panel, tells the Journal, noting, though, that CDC study sample size was small.

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