The two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has proven highly effective in preventing COVID-19 hospitalizations among individuals 12 to 18, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.
The report released Tuesday showed that 46% of U.S. children and adolescents ages 12 to 15 and 54% of those aged 16 and 17 have currently been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The study found that recipients of two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine proved highly effective in preventing COVID-19 hospitalization among those 12 to 18 years old.
“The data suggest that increasing vaccination coverage among this group could reduce the incidence of severe COVID-19 in the United States,” officials wrote in a fact sheet.
Further, as in-person school attendance increases, multicomponent preventive measures to reduce the incidence of severe COVID-19 among adolescents, including vaccination, are imperative.
Earlier this year, federal officials approved vaccines for children as young as 12. Experts now are closing in on vaccinations for children under 12.
The CDC report noted in a real-world evaluation of U.S. pediatric hospitals, about 97% of unvaccinated adolescents aged 12-18 were hospitalized with COVID-19.
The findings are consistent with efficacy data from a Pfizer-BioNTech clinical trial among those ages 12 to 15.
In the real-world analysis, in which all case-patients were hospitalized, vaccination reduced the risk for COVID-19 hospitalization in persons aged 12 to 18 by 93%.
Moreover, 16% of unvaccinated patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had critical illnesses requiring life support.