Teenagers aged 12 to 18 who are vaccinated against coronavirus are 90 percent less likely to become infected than their unvaccinated peers, according to a large Israeli trial published by Clalit Research Institute and Harvard University.
The study includes demographics, geography, clinical history, and health behaviors linked to COVID-19 infection risk, looked at the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccination against the Delta strain. Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are virtually exclusively used in Israel.
The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was conducted between June 8 and September 14, 2021, during the fourth wave of coronavirus infections.
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Researchers compared data from 94,354 Israeli teenagers aged 12–18 who had been inoculated against the disease with data from a similar number of unprotected teenagers, albeit around 14,000 of the latter group were vaccinated during the trial.
Clalit’s study method is comparable to that of earlier studies he has published in the same journal.
The teenagers were separated into groups depending on their vaccination status, which altered over time (during the study period, the status of 13,423 of them changed from unvaccinated to vaccinated).
The study’s procedure includes a careful adjustment of personal and clinical variables between groups, allowing for the elimination of potential biases.
The large group size allowed for a more precise evaluation of vaccine efficacy over time after inoculation.
According to the study, fully vaccinated teenagers (one week or longer after getting the second vaccination dose) had a 93 percent reduction in disease with symptoms and a 90 percent reduction in documented cases when compared to unvaccinated adolescents.
Because the serious disease is relatively uncommon in adolescents, the study cannot provide an exact estimate of the vaccine’s effect on the intensity of reduction in cases of serious illness.
According to Prof. Ran Balicer, the head of Clalit’s innovation division, “With the outbreak of the fourth wave due to the Delta variant, the question arose as to whether the vaccine used in Israel provides adequate protection against this variant, as it did against the Alpha variant following the January vaccination campaign. Because most adolescents were vaccinated for the first time during this wave, assessing the vaccine’s efficiency in them can provide an answer to the question.”
“The study’s findings reveal indisputably that the vaccine is most effective in avoiding symptomatic sickness and lowering infection in the Delta strain one week after two doses. The study’s findings demonstrate that the level of protection against the Delta strain is quite similar to that seen in young adults six months ago against the Alpha strain. These findings provide crucial and well-founded information to parents who are debating whether or not to vaccinate their adolescent children “Balicer added to the conversation.
“The results of this observational study, which complements Pfizer’s clinical research, provide well-established scientific evidence regarding the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing infection and serious illness among adolescents as well as the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing infection and serious illness among adults,” said Prof. Ben Reis, director of the Predictive Medicine Group at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.