Statement from New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett on Latest Data On COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness

"Today the New York State Department of Health's latest data related to the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine among children 5-11 and 12-17 years old in New York after the emergence of the Omicron variant was released on MedRxiv. This latest analysis conducted by the Department found declines in vaccine effectiveness of BioNTech, Pfizer vaccine (BNT162b2) during the Omicron wave for children, particularly those 5-11 years of age. The data are not surprising as the vaccine was developed in response to an earlier COVID-19 variant and reduced effectiveness of 2 doses against the Omicron variant has been seen to some degree with all vaccines and ages. It is critical to stress that vaccination is still recommended for everyone 5 years and older, including children 5-11. These data also demonstrate that COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of more severe illness and hospitalization for children 5-11, and I encourage parents and guardians to consult their pediatrician about getting their children vaccinated, and boosted if eligible, as soon as they can. We have shared this data with our partners at the CDC and FDA to help assist them with determining the best ways to protect the public from COVID-19."

  • The New York State Department of Health's full analysis is available here.
  • Parents and guardians can learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children and adolescents here.