DENVER (KDVR) — The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine is the only vaccine authorized in the U.S. for kids ages 5 to 11.
A new study published online without peer review looked at data collected from the state of New York during the omicron surge. It shows the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID infection after 30 days was just 12% for kids ages 5 to 11. The effectiveness against hospitalization was 48% for that group.
“I think it’s a little too early to get caught up on one study that has not been peer-reviewed at this point,” said Dr. Dan Feiten, the president of Greenwood Pediatrics and the co-founder of PediaClinic Urgent Care in Highlands Ranch. “I’m not sure that the 12% reflects what is really happening in the community.”
He believes more research needs to be done but says there are things that families can take away from this study.
“We can take from this that we do need to be careful and we have to make sure that we have layered protection. That means that taking off the masks and saying everything is just fine may not be the right thing for you or your child,” he said.
Experts say one reason for the drop in effectiveness could be the lower dosage that the younger group receives. Children ages 5-11 are given one-third the dose of older people.
“It probably will be such that the children will need another booster down the road,” Feiten said.
But what about all the families who are still trying to make their decision about vaccination for their little ones?
“There is some protection and I think it’s worthwhile to consider what’s right for your family,” said Feiten.
The Food and Drug Administration still has not authorized a vaccine for kids younger than five.