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The CDC released two studies Thursday that showed vaccine safety between the ages of 5 and 11 and highlighted the importance of vaccinating children against the coronavirus to prevent serious illness and hospitalization.
In one study, researchers found that serious problems were rare in children who received the Pfizer vaccine.
In another study, researchers looked at hundreds of pediatric hospital stays from the summer and found that almost all children who developed severe COVID-19 were not fully vaccinated.
“This study shows that unvaccinated children hospitalized for COVID-19 may develop serious illness and highlights the importance of vaccinating all eligible children to provide individual protection and to protect those who are not yet eligible for vaccination come into question, ”the authors of the second study wrote.
Nearly 9 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been given to children between the ages of 5 and 11 in the United States, according to The New York Times. By mid-December, or about six weeks after the age group was eligible for vaccination in October, the CDC said it had received very few reports of serious problems.
CDC researchers evaluated reports from doctors and the public, including survey responses from parents and guardians of approximately 43,000 children ages 5-11. Many children reported non-serious events such as injection site pain, tiredness, or headache, especially after the second dose.
Of the more than 4,100 adverse event reports received in November and December, 100 were serious events, with fever or vomiting being the most common.
The CDC had received 11 confirmed reports of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, identified as a rare side effect of the vaccine in boys and men between the ages of 12 and 29 years. Of these, seven children had already recovered and four were still recovering at the time of reporting.
The CDC received reports of two deaths – girls ages 5 and 6 – who had chronic illnesses and were in “fragile health” prior to being shot. The agency said no data suggest a “causal link between death and vaccination”.
The CDC also received some reports that children between the ages of 5 and 11 received the larger dose of vaccine intended for older children and adults. Most of the reports said that the children did not have any problems after taking the wrong dose.
In a separate study of childhood hospitalizations, CDC researchers examined more than 700 children under the age of 18 who were hospitalized for COVID-19 in six children’s hospitals in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Texas and Washington, DC in July and August became
The researchers found that only one of the 272 eligible patients aged 12-17 years old was fully vaccinated and 12 were partially vaccinated.
In addition, about two-thirds of hospitalized children between the ages of 12 and 17 had an underlying condition, with obesity being the most common. About a third of children under the age of 5 had more than one viral infection.
Overall, around 30% of children had to be treated in intensive care units and 15% required invasive medical ventilation, CDC researchers found. Nearly 3% had multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, a rare but serious inflammatory disease associated with COVID-19.
Of all children hospitalized with COVID-19, around 1.5% died.
“Few vaccinate-eligible patients hospitalized for COVID-19 have been vaccinated, highlighting the importance of vaccination for those aged 5 and over and other prevention strategies to protect children and adolescents from COVID-19, especially those with underlying illnesses “Wrote the study authors.
CDC: “COVID-19 Vaccine Safety in Children Ages 5-11 – US, November 3 through December 19, 2021.” 19 were hospitalized – Six Hospitals, USA, July-August 2021. “
The New York Times: “Covid vaccines rarely cause problems in younger children, according to two CDC reports.”