Effectiveness of COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccination in Preventing COVID-19-Associated Emergency Department and Urgent Care Encounters and Hospitalizations Among Nonimmunocompromised Children and Adolescents Aged 5-17 Years - VISION Network, 10 States, April 2021-January 2022

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Mar 4;71(9):352-358. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7109e3.


The efficacy of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine against laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 exceeded 90% in clinical trials that included children and adolescents aged 5-11, 12-15, and 16-17 years (1-3). Limited real-world data on 2-dose mRNA vaccine effectiveness (VE) in persons aged 12-17 years (referred to as adolescents in this report) have also indicated high levels of protection against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection and COVID-19-associated hospitalization (4-6); however, data on VE against the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant and duration of protection are limited. Pfizer-BioNTech VE data are not available for children aged 5-11 years. In partnership with CDC, the VISION Network* examined 39,217 emergency department (ED) and urgent care (UC) encounters and 1,699 hospitalizations among persons aged 5-17 years with COVID-19-like illness across 10 states during April 9, 2021-January 29, 2022,§ to estimate VE using a case-control test-negative design. Among children aged 5-11 years, VE against laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated ED and UC encounters 14-67 days after dose 2 (the longest interval after dose 2 in this age group) was 46%. Among adolescents aged 12-15 and 16-17 years, VE 14-149 days after dose 2 was 83% and 76%, respectively; VE ≥150 days after dose 2 was 38% and 46%, respectively. Among adolescents aged 16-17 years, VE increased to 86% ≥7 days after dose 3 (booster dose). VE against COVID-19-associated ED and UC encounters was substantially lower during the Omicron predominant period than the B.1.617.2 (Delta) predominant period among adolescents aged 12-17 years, with no significant protection ≥150 days after dose 2 during Omicron predominance. However, in adolescents aged 16-17 years, VE during the Omicron predominant period increased to 81% ≥7 days after a third booster dose. During the full study period, including pre-Delta, Delta, and Omicron predominant periods, VE against laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalization among children aged 5-11 years was 74% 14-67 days after dose 2, with wide CIs that included zero. Among adolescents aged 12-15 and 16-17 years, VE 14-149 days after dose 2 was 92% and 94%, respectively; VE ≥150 days after dose 2 was 73% and 88%, respectively. All eligible children and adolescents should remain up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations, including a booster dose for those aged 12-17 years.

Publication types

  • Technical Report

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data
  • BNT162 Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Secondary
  • Male
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology*
  • United States
  • Vaccine Efficacy / statistics & numerical data*


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • BNT162 Vaccine

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19 vaccine booster shot
  • SARS-CoV-2 variants