(The Hill) — Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was 73.2 percent effective against the disease in children under 5, the company said Tuesday.
The company touted the data as reinforcing the importance of the vaccine, which was authorized in June, after months of waiting for a vaccine for the youngest children.
The effectiveness is after three shots of the vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine’s authorization was delayed earlier this year to allow time to study a third shot, with the idea that two shots were not enough.
The results, based on 34 cases, came when the strain of the virus circulating was primarily the omicron subvariant BA.2, slightly different than the BA.5 omicron subvariant that is largely circulating now.
Pfizer said Tuesday that it is working on a vaccine for children under 12 specifically targeting BA.5, matching its approach for adults 12 and over.
“Building on the strong safety and immunogenicity data that led to FDA authorization of our COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years, we are pleased to share confirmatory evidence that a full course of vaccination helps protect against symptomatic disease, particularly during a time when the Omicron BA.2 strain was predominant,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.
Getting parents to vaccinate their young children is an ongoing challenge. Only about five percent of children under 5 have been vaccinated so far, ABC News reported last week.