CDC Study Finds Significant Decline in COVID-19 Vaccine Protection Among Children Over Time

A new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that children who received the original COVID-19 vaccine have limited protection against hospitalization and critical illness just a few months after vaccination.

The study found that initially, children had 52% protection against hospitalization, but after four months, that effectiveness dropped to 19%. Protection against critical illness also decreased from 57% to 25%. The study included children aged 5 to 18 who received two or more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines between December 2021 and October 2023.

The research drew data from the Overcoming COVID-19 Network and involved 1,551 case patients and 1,797 in the control group. The results highlight the CDC’s recommendation for children aged 6 months and older to receive one of the newest COVID-19 vaccines.

However, the study did not provide data on whether the currently available shots provide longer-lasting protection than the original vaccines. The study’s limitations include not assessing post-infection immunity and a lack of sequencing data.

As authorities are shifting to an annual COVID-19 vaccine model, updating the formulation of the vaccines each year, only a small percentage of children and adults have received one of the newest vaccines as of April 6.

Critics argue that the study raises concerns about the basis for recommending mRNA vaccines and highlights potential conflicts of interest among authors reporting funding from Pfizer and Moderna or owning Pfizer stock.

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By Kate Stephenson
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