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CDC omicron study shows need for vaccines, boosters in minors

Past research shows two doses of the Pfizer vaccine provided 12- to 17-year-olds strong protection against the delta variant. But how well did the vaccine protect children and adolescents during omicron's dominance?

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  study offers some clues.

The multistate study analyzed 39,000 emergency department and urgent care cases across a period spanning pre-delta, delta and omicron dominance.

Protection in adolescents plunged during omicron, with vaccines offering “no significant protection” five months after the second dose.

A booster raised protection back up to 81% in 16-17-year-olds.

Vaccine effectiveness in 5- to 11-year-olds reached a mere 46% across the period studied, due more to omicron’s virulence than differences in vaccine efficacy between age groups.

The findings underline the need to stay up-to-date on vaccines and boosters.

Nicholas Gerbis was a senior field correspondent for KJZZ from 2016 to 2024.