COVID-19 vaccine kept children out of hospitals, off ventilators during omicron
Not long before omicron rose to prominence, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded its Emergency Use Authorization to make children 5–11 eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.
A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study shows the vaccine helped keep children out of hospitals and off ventilators — if they received it.
Omicron drove a rapid increase in hospitalizations across all ages, likely because of how easily it spreads.
Hospitalization rates were twice as high among unvaccinated children in the study, more than one-half of whom were Black or Hispanic.
One-third of hospitalized kids had no underlying medical condition, and one-fifth received intensive care.
None of the vaccinated children needed oxygen support.
As in previous studies, diabetes and obesity increased risks of severe COVID-19.
The findings underscore the need to increase vaccine coverage, especially within groups disproportionately affected by COVID-19.