Delta vs Omicron: How Much Protection do Teens Have after a Pfizer Jab?

How much protection do teens have after a Pfizer vaccination? A study was done in Norway by Veneti et al., (2022), to answer this question. To do this, they looked at the records of 372,179 teens aged 12 to 17. They were aiming to compare how much protection these adolescents had after a Pfizer vaccine against a Delta or Omicron infection.

What did they find?

Delta: The Pfizer vaccine ability to prevent teens, ages 12 to 17, getting a symptomatic or a no-symptoms (asymptomatic) Delta infection (its ‘effectiveness’) reached its highest point at approximately 62% to 68% protection between days 21-48 after their first dose (Veneti et al., 2022).

For the 16 to 17year-olds that received 2 jabs of the vaccine, effectiveness peaked at 93% at days 35-62 after their 2nd jab and dropped to 84% after 63 days or more from when they had their 2nd dose (Veneti et al., 2022).

Omicron: For teens from 12 to 17yrs old, they found that if they just had 1 jab of Pfizer, they had no protection against getting an Omicron infection (Veneti et al., 2022).

Among 16–17-year-olds, vaccine effectiveness against Omicron peaked at 53% at 7 to 34 days after the second dose and decreased to 23% at 63 days or more after vaccination (Veneti et al., 2022).

Basically: The effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine dropped the longer it had been since the teens of all ages were jabbed with their 2nd dose of Pfizer against both a Delta and an Omicron infection, but this decreasing protection was seen to happen faster for Omicron. (Veneti et al., 2022).

A bit more info on this study

This was a retrospective population-based cohort study.

A retrospective population-based cohort study is a study that answers a specific research question by looking at past medical records of a group of individuals taken from the general population who share common characteristics, like their age, sex, or health conditions (Song, & Chung, 2010).

In Veneti et al., (2022) study, the group that was studied (their sample group) was the information given by the Norwegian national preparedness registry for COVID-19 on adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17 who had COVID between 25 August 2021 to 16 January 2022.

What makes this study trustworthy?

There are certain factors that make this study more trustworthy:

✔ It was a very large study as it sampled 372,179 teens across Norway. This means that their results can be averaged out.

✔ Their funding sources were not overtly biased as they did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not‒for profit sectors. The study was done as part of routine work at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

✔ The study was recently done as it was only published on March 25, 2022 this means their findings are relatively up-to-date.

What Have Other Researchers Found?

Lutrick et al., (2021) studied teens between the ages of 12 to 17 Years in Arizona, from July to December 2021.

They found that fully vaccinated teens (had 2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine) to be 92% protected against PCR–confirmed Delta COVID-19 infection (Lutrick et al., 2021).

They interpreted these findings to suggest that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective in real-world conditions among adolescents aged 12–17 years (Lutrick et al., 2021).

What makes this study trustworthy?

There are certain factors that make this study more trustworthy:

Lutrick et al., (2021) findings are consistent with what was found in previous Phase III Pfizer trials (as seen in Frenck et al., 2021 study) and recent observational studies of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccinations against severe COVID-19 in adolescents and young adults

✔ The scientific rigour (their study was of high quality) of these findings is enhanced by the study’s prospective design and the participants’ weekly specimen collections (Lutrick et al., 2021).

✔ The study observed the teens were the same time the Delta variant was predominant in the United States and when in-person K–12 instruction returned to Arizona schools, which meant there were potentially higher rates of exposure (Lutrick et al., 2021).

What Can Confuse the Results Of These Studies?

❌ There are factors that are outside these studies control, like differences in vaccinated & unvaccinated participant mask wearing in combination with other factors (Lutrick et al., 2021).

❌ Participants in Lutrick et al., (2021) study were asked to test collect their own samples, and they also used of nasal rather than nasopharyngeal swabs, which could have reduced the sensitivity of the PCR tests.

✔ But by using this testing method, they might have increased participation, because it might have been seen more acceptable to participants (Lutrick et al., 2021).

How Safe & Effective is Pfizer For Children?

As children under 12 across the world are returning to school during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the safety and effect of vaccines on their young bodies urgently needs to be understood.

How Can You Protect Yourself & Your Family

COVID is a reality that is very unlikely to disappear or stop mutating. It’s simply a reality that we need to learn to live with and protect ourselves from. Vaccinating is a very real way to protect ourselves. Learn more about the 5 different types of COVID vaccinations and how they work here.

Which COVID-19 Vaccine Is The Best?

COVID-19 vaccines are all trying to train your immune system to protect you against the virus, but how they do this is so different. We look at how well the world’s 16 different COVID-19 vaccines work against omicron in the real world.

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