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Triangle doctors weigh in after study showed COVID vaccine less effective in children ages 5 to 11

DURHAM, NC (WNCN) – Data from New York shows that the COVID-19 vaccine did not prevent infection in most elementary school-age children during the Omicron variant surge, but it appeared to be more effective at protecting against serious illnesses.

LaToshia Rouse knows what it’s like to have children in the hospital — her triplets spent time in the NICU as newborns. When COVID emerged, she didn’t want to take any chances.

“We just didn’t want to risk them going to the hospital and being ventilated,” Rouse explained.

Her children were taking part in the COVID-19 vaccine trial at Duke, and Rouse said it was a huge relief to have the whole family vaccinated.

Now, a study analyzing data from New York that hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed shows that during the omicron surge, the vaccine was only about 12 percent effective at preventing infection in children ages 5 to 11 .

“We need to be clear and honest with people that when you have something as transmissible as Omicron, it’s difficult to prevent infection,” said Dr. Nicholas Turner, Duke’s Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist. “The main reason I’m still pushing vaccination is because of this other important outcome, hospitalization, serious illness and death.”

The data shows that the vaccines were about 48 percent effective in preventing hospitalizations in this age group.

“It’s still a fair bit of protection when you’re talking about a serious medical condition,” Turner said.

UNC specialist in pediatric infectious diseases, Dr. Peyton Thomas says that’s why she still encourages parents to vaccinate their children.

“Even though it’s not a perfect vaccine, neither is the flu vaccine and we still wholeheartedly recommend it because the consequences are so high,” she said. “I think we can say the same for these severe cases of COVID and post-COVID inflammatory syndrome in children.”

For Rouse, any protection is better than none.

“I’ll take those chances,” she said. “I will seize these opportunities.”

Researchers are looking at options that could potentially improve the shot’s performance in the young age group, such as: B. changing the dose or the interval between doses. They’re also studying age-group boosters, and the Rouse kids say they’re willing to get another dose if needed.

https://www.cbs17.com/community/health/coronavirus/triangle-doctors-weigh-in-after-study-shows-covid-vaccine-less-effective-in-kids-5-11/ Triangle doctors weigh in after study showed COVID vaccine less effective in children ages 5 to 11

DUSTIN JONES

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