Pfizer COVID shot less effective in children ages 5-11, study finds

FILE - A dose of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at Lurie Children's hospital, Nov. 5, 2021, in Chicago. Some people getting Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines should consider waiting up to eight weeks between the first and second doses, instead of the three or four weeks previously recommended, U.S. health officials said.,Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File) (Nam Y. Huh, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A study by researchers in New York State found that two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was protective against severe infection in children aged 5 to 11 during the surge of omicron, but quickly lost most of its potency when it came to preventing the disease in the children in the age group.

According to Reuters, the study found that the vaccine’s efficacy declined to 12% at the end of January compared to 68% in mid-December. That’s compared to children who were not vaccinated.

It varied from people aged 12 to 17, where the study found its efficacy fell to 51% in late January from 66% in mid-December.

Last Tuesday, Pfizer asked the U.S. to authorize extra-low doses of its vaccine for children under 5.

The nation’s 19 million children under 5 are the only group not yet eligible for vaccination against the coronavirus. Many parents have been pushing for an expansion of shots to toddlers and preschoolers, especially as the omicron variant sent record numbers of youngsters to the hospital.