January 11, 2023
Healio shares study findings that a COVID-19 booster shot restored protection for children aged 5 to 11 whose protection against the omicron variant had waned three months after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Though the potential for people to still become infected with COVID-19, the study authors note that boosters “continue to remain highly protective”.
The study examined data reported by patient questionnaire when scheduling a COVID-19 test at the Walgreens pharmacy chain. Protection against omicron subvariants and whether protection differed depending on infection history for this particular age group were the areas of focus for the study authors. The authors also made attempts to control for variables such as comorbidities, geography, and exposure.
Analysis was conducted in children with vs without prior infection and found protection decreased at three months for both groups. The delta and omicron variants were examined for efficacy with the omicron variant of greater interest. The study found a booster dose was 55% effective against omicron with no evidence of waning protection at three months or more. Results were reported as “unsurprising” and “consistent” with studies in older age groups.
PIDS president Buddy Creech commented on the story, “For respiratory viruses, re-infection is the rule, not the exception; therefore, we need to adjust our expectations that an intramuscular vaccine can offer complete protection from infection for prolonged periods of time. Rather, we should acknowledge that the best protection against severe disease is vaccination, including booster vaccines. As COVID settles into (hopefully) a more seasonal rhythm, we may be able to predict when disease activity is likely to peak and time our future booster doses accordingly.”