Pfizer COVID Vaccine efficacy declining; study shows
A study by New York State Researchers state that Two doses of Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has quickly lost most of its ability to prevent infection in children aged 5 to 11 unlike it was during the recent Omicron variant surge.
According to the study, the effectiveness of the vaccine among children dropped to 12 percent from 68 percent in mid-December with those aged 12 to 17 dropping from 66 percent in mid-December to 51 percent.
The data also showed that the vaccine was down from effectiveness of 100 percent and 85 percent against hospitalisation to 48 percent and 73 percent for the younger age group and adolescents last month.
“ These results highlight the potential need to study alternative vaccine dosing for children and the continued importance of layered protections, including mask wearing, to prevent infection and transmission,” the researchers said.
However, there was questioning from Dr Paul Offit, a paediatric infectious disease expert at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, whether the data were powerful enough to say the effectiveness of the vaccine had declined, especially against severe disease.
“It’s not surprising that protection against mild illness would wane. We know that Omicron is somewhat immune for protection against mild illness,” said Offit.
“The goal of the vaccine is to protect against severe illness-to keep children out of the hospital.”
Offit added that the number of hospitalisations were too few and there was little information on why the children were hospitalised to draw any conclusions. He also noted that natural infection can protect against serious illness.
In addition, Pfizer said it is studying a three-dose schedule of the vaccine in the paediatric population in regards to the study of adults which suggests “People vaccinated with three-doses of COVID-19 vaccine may have a higher degree of protection.”
In Kenya, 1.8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine were received on February 28, 2022 by the Ministry of Health from the United States government at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
This shipment from the US embassy officials in Nairobi led by Eric Watnick, the Public Diplomacy Counsellor, is meant to boost the ongoing vaccination campaign in the country.