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California study shows COVID vaccine effectiveness for children


A lot of data has been published that shows that the COVID vaccine is safe and effective for children. A newly published study from California shows a significant reduction in pediatric COVID-19 cases thanks to the state’s COVID vaccine program.

As I usually do, I want to review this newly published article and analyze its results.

kids sitting on green grass field california covid vaccine
Photo by Vika Glitter on Pexels.com

California pediatric COVID vaccine study

In an article published on 1 April 2024 in the respected JAMA Network Open, Justin V. Remais, Ph.D., Center for Computational Biology, University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues, analyzed data on 3,913,063 pediatric COVID-19 cases and 12,740 hospitalizations in California. The research team obtained data from the California COVID-19 Reporting System.

While California has among the highest rates of vaccination in the US, pediatric vaccination coverage lags that of adults substantially, with only 8.2% of children younger than 5 years and 37.8% of children aged 5 to 11 years fully vaccinated as of May 2023. Severe complications from COVID-19 are rare among children but can occur.

Of the 3.9 million pediatric COVID-19 cases reported in California among children younger than 18 years, 1.2% of cases were among infants younger than 6 months, 13.2% in children aged 6 to 4.9 years, and 38.6% in children aged 12 to 15 years. The highest percentage of cases (40.7%) was in children aged 5 to 11 years. Among pediatric COVID-19 hospitalized cases, adolescents aged 12 to 15 were the most hospitalized group (30.8%).

Here are the key results:

  • Thanks to the California COVID vaccine program, there was a reduction of 26.3% in the number of COVID cases among children aged 6 months to 15 years.
  • The researchers found that there was an estimated 37.1% reduction in COVID-19 cases among adolescents aged 12 to 15 years.
  • The researchers also observed a 23.7% reduction in COVID cases among children aged 5 to 11 years.
  • The California COVID vaccine program was associated with 24.4% fewer hospitalizations among children aged 6 months to 4.9 years.
  • Pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations in California averted 376,085 reported cases and 273 hospitalizations among children aged 6 months to 15 years over approximately 4 to 7 months following vaccine availability.
  • On average, every increase of 10 vaccinations per 1000 children corresponded to a reduction of 0.9 cases per 1000 children for individuals aged 6 to 59 months, 3.5 cases per 1000 children for those aged 5 and 11 years, and 2 cases per 1000 children for adolescents aged 12 to 15 years

The authors concluded:

The findings of this case series analysis of 3 913 063 cases suggest reduced pediatric SARS-CoV-2 transmission following immunization. These results support the use of COVID-19 vaccines to reduce COVID-19 incidence and hospitalization in pediatric populations.

Summary

This large study of California children who received the COVID vaccine shows that it effectively reduces the risk of COVID-19 and subsequent vaccination.

Citations

Michael Simpson

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