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Effectiveness of Monovalent and Bivalent mRNA Vaccines in Preventing COVID-19-Associated Emergency Department and Urgent Care Encounters Among Children Aged 6 Months-5 Years – VISION Network, United States, July 2022-June 2023

On June 19, 2022, the original monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were approved as a primary series for children aged 6 months-4 years (Pfizer-BioNTech) and 6 months-5 years (Moderna) based on safety, immunobridging, and limited efficacy data from clinical trials. On December 9, 2022, CDC expanded recommendations for use of updated bivalent vaccines to children aged ≥6 months. mRNA COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) against emergency department or urgent care (ED/UC) encounters was evaluated within the VISION Network during July 4, 2022-June 17, 2023, among children with COVID-19-like illness aged 6 months-5 years. Among children aged 6 months-5 years who received molecular SARS-CoV-2 testing during August 1, 2022-June 17, 2023, VE of 2 monovalent Moderna doses against ED/UC encounters was 29% (95% CI = 12%-42%) ≥14 days after dose 2 (median = 100 days after dose 2; IQR = 63-155 days). Among children aged 6 months-4 years with a COVID-19-like illness who received molecular testing during September 19, 2022-June 17, 2023, VE of 3 monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech doses was 43% (95% CI = 17%-61%) ≥14 days after dose 3 (median = 75 days after dose 3; IQR = 40-139 days). Effectiveness of ≥1 bivalent dose, comparing children with at least a complete primary series and ≥1 bivalent dose to unvaccinated children, irrespective of vaccine manufacturer, was 80% (95% CI = 42%-96%) among children aged 6 months-5 years a median of 58 days (IQR = 32-83 days) after the dose. All children should stay up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including initiation of COVID-19 vaccination immediately when they are eligible.

Authors: Link-Gelles, Ruth;Rowley, Elizabeth A K;Irving, Stephanie A;Weber, Zachary A;Fleming-Dutra, Katherine E;et al.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2023 Aug 18;72(33):886-892. Epub 2023-08-18.

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