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BNT162b2 Vaccine Effective Against Severe COVID-19 in Adolescents

HealthDay News Two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine are highly effective against COVID-19-related hospitalization and critical disease in adolescents aged 12 to 18 years, according to a study published online Jan. 12 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Samantha M. Olson, M.P.H., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Response Team, and colleagues assessed vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 resulting in hospitalization, admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), use of life-supporting interventions, or death in a case-control, test-negative design. The odds of antecedent full vaccination (2 doses of BNT162b2) were compared in 445 case patients versus 2 control groups (777 controls), including patients with COVID-19-like symptoms but negative results on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 testing (test-negative) and patients without COVID-19-like symptoms (syndrome-negative).

The researchers found that 4% of case patients and 36% of controls had been fully vaccinated. Of the case patients, 40 and 29% were admitted to the ICU and required life support. Only 2 patients in the ICU were fully vaccinated. The overall effectiveness of the BNT162b2 vaccine was 94% against hospitalization for COVID-19, with effectiveness of 95 and 94% among test-negative controls and syndrome-negative controls, respectively. Effectiveness was 98% against both ICU admission and COVID-19 resulting in receipt of life support. All 7 deaths occurred in unvaccinated patients.

“It is distressing that less than 39% of the adolescents in the control group had been immunized against COVID-19, despite uniform eligibility and widespread vaccine access,” writes the author of an accompanying editorial.

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