Background: The increasing incidence of pediatric hospitalizations associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) caused by the B.1.617.2 (delta) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the United States has offered an opportunity to assess the real-world effectiveness of the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine in adolescents between 12 and 18 years of age.
Methods: We used a case-control, test-negative design to assess vaccine effectiveness against Covid-19 resulting in hospitalization, admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), the use of life-supporting interventions (mechanical ventilation, vasopressors, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), or death. Between July 1 and October 25, 2021, we screened admission logs for eligible case patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 at 31 hospitals in 23 states. We estimated vaccine effectiveness by comparing the odds of antecedent full vaccination (two doses of BNT162b2) in case patients as compared with two hospital-based control groups: patients who had Covid-19-like symptoms but negative results on testing for SARS-CoV-2 (test-negative) and patients who did not have Covid-19-like symptoms (syndrome-negative).
Results: A total of 445 case patients and 777 controls were enrolled. Overall, 17 case patients (4%) and 282 controls (36%) had been fully vaccinated. Of the case patients, 180 (40%) were admitted to the ICU, and 127 (29%) required life support; only 2 patients in the ICU had been fully vaccinated. The overall effectiveness of the BNT162b2 vaccine against hospitalization for Covid-19 was 94% (95% confidence interval [CI], 90 to 96); the effectiveness was 95% (95% CI, 91 to 97) among test-negative controls and 94% (95% CI, 89 to 96) among syndrome-negative controls. The effectiveness was 98% against ICU admission and 98% against Covid-19 resulting in the receipt of life support. All 7 deaths occurred in patients who were unvaccinated.
Conclusions: Among hospitalized adolescent patients, two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine were highly effective against Covid-19-related hospitalization and ICU admission or the receipt of life support. (Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.).
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