Severe cases of covid more frequent in vaccine-free children. In the age group from 5 to 11 years, the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine was lower than that found in the licensing studies, with a protection of 29% against infection and 41% against serious illness, but for not vaccinated, the incidence of severe forms of the disease was double that of those who had taken the two doses. These are the results of a study by the Higher Institute of Health and the Ministry of Health, published by the journal ‘Lancet’. The researchers looked at data from more than one million children vaccinated with two doses, 134,000 with one dose and 1.8 million unvaccinated. The efficacy was estimated by comparing the data from the Covid-19 Integrated Surveillance System and those from the national vaccination register, taking into account all children between 5 and 11 years of age who had not had a previous diagnosis of infection followed between January 17 and April 13, 2022, a period characterized by the dominance of the Omicron variant. In the period considered, approximately 767 thousand cases in the 5-11 year range were notified to the Surveillance System. The highest incidence was in the unvaccinated group (426.9 per 100,000 ‘person-days’), and the lowest in the two-dose vaccinated group (234.5 per 100,000 person-days). Also in the period considered, there were 644 severe cases of Covid-19, all hospitalized. Among these there were 15 hospitalizations in intensive care and two deaths, only among the unvaccinated. The incidence of severe disease was double in the unvaccinated (0.6 per 100,000 person-days versus 0.3). “The analysis – the authors underline in the article – refers to a specific period in which the Omicron variant was predominant. Even moderate protection contributed significantly to reducing the effects of the infection, especially the more serious ones, as demonstrated the difference in the incidence of severe cases in the two groups “.
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