Israel Study Finds Vaccines Halved Covid Infection Risk for Kids

By Hamodia Staff

Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccines seen at a Clalit vaccination center in Yerushalayim. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM — Israel researchers said on Thursday that the vaccination campaign among children halved the risk of COVID infection during the past winter.

The study, the world’s largest of its kind, led by Clalit Healthcare Services, compared Covid records of 94,728 Pfizer-vaccinated children and the same number of unvaccinated children with similar age and health profiles. The children were aged 5 to 11.

During the two weeks after the second dose took effect, they had 51% protection against becoming infected. Protection against infection with symptoms was 48%.

This was significantly better than earlier projections of only 12% protection, though way below the level for previous vaccines.

“I think 48% to 51% is still pretty high,” Prof. Ben Reis, one of the study’s authors, told The Times of Israel. “It’s true that we got used to seeing percentages in the 90s for protection level [when vaccines initially came out], but protecting against half of infections and illnesses is still a real advantage.”

Reis also noted that at the time of the research, vaccine effectiveness against infection for adults had already dropped from over 90% early in the pandemic to 65.5% against the Omicron variant.

Reis noted that children seem to be somewhat less protected by vaccines than adults, for reasons that aren’t yet clear.

Pfizer is expected to soon release vaccines that are more effective against variants, and Reis expects effectiveness will rise for both adults and children.

“The main issue here appears not to be an issue with vaccines and children, but that ever-evolving variants are an issue for kids and adults alike,” he said.

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