How effective were the children’s vaccines?
Real-world data: How effective are corona vaccines in children? A new study from the Clalit Research Institute published tonight followed tens of thousands of young children vaccinated against corona and found the level of effectiveness in reducing morbidity and symptoms. The data show that the vaccine contributed 51% to reducing morbidity and 48% to reducing symptomatic infection. The results of the study were published tonight in the prestigious scientific journal The New England Journal of Medicine.The study examined the effectiveness of Pfizer vaccine given in reduced doses for children aged 5-11 during the Omicron wave in Israel. Along with the Israeli representatives from the Clalit Institute, the research was conducted in collaboration with Harvard University and other universities in Italy and London.

The study compared the data of 94,728 vaccinated children aged 5-11 versus 94,728 children of these ages, who were carefully adjusted and did not vaccinate with any corona vaccine. The researchers took into account variables that might have influenced the comparison. The results of the study showed a 51% reduction in morbidity and a 48% reduction in symptomatic infection within a period of one to three weeks from the second vaccine dose. The protection provided by the vaccine was not uniform in all age groups. The data show that better protection was recorded in the younger age group, i.e. between the ages of 5 and 6, compared with slightly lower efficacy data between the ages of 10 and 11.

“The results reliably reflect the effectiveness of the vaccine”

Prof. Ran Blitzer, Head of Clalit’s Innovation Division and Director of the Research Institute, said: “Previous studies we conducted at Clalit have shown high efficacy of the first doses of the vaccine in protecting against symptomatic Delta strain in adolescents, several weeks after the second vaccine. “In a vaccine whose dose was reduced and adjusted for this age group, it provided less protection against infection with the Omicron strain. It is difficult to determine which part of the decrease in protection from infection can be attributed to the reduced dose and which part can be attributed to differences in vaccine efficacy.

Dr. Doron Netzer, head of Clalit’s community medicine department, added: “The results reliably reflect the effectiveness of the vaccine against morbidity and symptomatic infection during the omicron wave, which is possible thanks to the meticulous research method that has standardized various variables.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently recommended administering corona vaccines to infants and toddlers ages six months to five years. Following the recommendation, a discussion was held last week among the team dealing with epidemics in Israel. Prof. Ben-Rice, head of a predictive medicine group at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, adds: “Currently, one of the main reasons for hesitation about childhood vaccines is a lack of information about its efficacy. We hope it helps to make an informed decision about getting vaccinated. ”

Prof. Mark Lifshitz, Head of the Center for Infectious Diseases and Lecturer at Harvard School of Public Health: “A major challenge in any study of vaccine efficacy is the need to make sure the control group has similar characteristics that can predict whether participants are likely to be infected or get sick.” “Constantly and aimed at a certain age population. Clalit’s exceptional database makes it possible to design research that addresses the challenge.”

This week, the Knesset passed regulations that allow for a home antigen test and independent reporting of the results to the Ministry of Health – so that the home tests will be considered an ‘institutional test’. Prof. Salman Zarqa, corona projector, commented today on the situation in the corona in Israel: “We are in the sixth wave and the upward trend in morbidity continues. There is an increase of about 300% in the number of patients hospitalized in hospitals “And it is not protected. The natural antibodies do not remain and there is a decline in protection.”

Pharmaceutical companies are currently working to create a vaccine tailored to the Omicron strain, but it is not yet available on the global market. Prof. Zarqa said: “We are waiting for updates on the schedules of developing a vaccine adapted for the Omicron strain. There may be such a vaccine for the coming winter – but it does not currently exist anywhere in the world. ”

By Editor

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