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CDC study shows Pfizer’s COVID vaccine series less effective in kids than adults

A child receiving a coronavirus vaccine. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The older the age group, the more effective the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. That’s according to the most up-to-date data published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

News 8 spoke with report co-author Dr. Shaun Grannis, vice president of data and analytics at the Regenstrief Institute, to learn what he found in terms of 5- to 11 year-olds. Children in that age range are, for now, the last to be eligible for vaccination. 

“We were unable to identify an effectiveness for that age group alone for hospitalizations,” Grannis said. “But, the emergency department and urgent care visits for 5- to 11-year-olds very clearly showed effectiveness. The effectiveness for the emergency department and urgent care for 5- to 11-year-olds was 46%. That’s on the lower end of the effectiveness that we’ve seen.”

For 12- to 15 year-olds, the vaccine was 83% percent protective against emergency and urgent care visits.

These results follow a similar pattern to adults, according to Grannis. Two doses are effective at first, but vaccine protection against the virus declines over time. Grannis says kids will benefit significantly when given a booster. 

Grannis also says the vaccine is shown to be more protective against the Delta variant than against Omicron in children ages 5 to 11.