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Pfizer Says Its Vaccine Prevents Against Rare COVID Complication in Kids

Pfizer Says Its Vaccine Prevents Against Rare COVID Complication in Kids

Two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are highly protective against a rare but often serious condition in children that causes organ inflammation weeks after COVID-19 infections, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report said on Friday.

The vaccine was estimated to be 91% effective in preventing Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) in 12- to 18-year-olds, the study said. MIS-C causes inflammation in children in organs including the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain roughly two to six weeks after a mild or asymptomatic infection.

COVID virus is surging
[Image via U.S. Secretary of Defense, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons]
The estimate is based on the assessment of 283 hospitalized patients aged 12–18 years at 24 children’s hospitals in 20 states between July and early December, when the prevalence of the Delta coronavirus variant was high. Of that number, there were 38 MIS-C patients requiring life support who were unvaccinated, the study said. Children aged 5–11 years are at the highest risk for MIS-C, but since they only became eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in late October in the United States, they were not included in the analysis, the report said.

The results add to a growing body of evidence that vaccination against COVID-19 is likely to prevent disease-related complications in children, including MIS-C, the report said. It was not previously known whether the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine prevented the condition.

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In a related story, a federal judge in Texas on Thursday ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make public the data it relied on to license Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, imposing a dramatically accelerated schedule that should result in the release of all information within about eight months.


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