Background: Policymakers urgently need evidence to adequately balance the costs and benefits of mass vaccination against COVID-19 across all age groups, including children and adolescents. In this study, we aim to assess the effectiveness of CoronaVac’s primary series among children and adolescents in Chile. Methods: We used a large prospective national cohort of about two million children and adolescents 6–16 years to estimate the effectiveness of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (CoronaVac) in preventing laboratory-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19), hospitalisation, and admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) associated with COVID-19. We compared the risk of individuals treated with a complete primary immunization schedule (two doses, 28 days apart) with the risk of unvaccinated individuals during the follow-up period. The study was conducted in Chile from June 27, 2021, to January 12, 2022, when the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant was predominant but other variants of concern were co-circulating, including Omicron. We used inverse probability-weighted survival regression models to estimate hazard ratios of complete immunization over the unvaccinated status, accounting for time-varying vaccination exposure and adjusting for relevant demographic, socioeconomic, and clinical confounders. Findings: The estimated adjusted vaccine effectiveness for the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in children aged 6–16 years was 74.5% (95% CI, 73.8–75.2), 91.0% (95% CI, 87.8–93.4), 93.8% (95% CI, 87.8–93.4) for the prevention of COVID-19, hospitalisation, and ICU admission, respectively. For the subgroup of children 6–11 years, the vaccine effectiveness was 75.8% (95% CI, 74.7–76.8) for the prevention of COVID-19 and 77.9% (95% CI, 61.5–87.3) for the prevention of hospitalisation. Interpretation: Our results suggest that a complete primary immunization schedule with the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides effective protection against severe COVID-19 disease for children 6–16 years.

Fuente: The Lancet Regional Health – Americas
Published: April 20, 2023