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Papers of the Week

2022 Jul 11

J Chin Med Assoc

SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in children and adolescents: Can immunization prevent hospitalization?


Liang K-H, Hung K-F, Wang M-L, Chang T-J, Cheng Y-F, Chiang S-H, Chen M-F, Liao Y-T, Chiou S-H, Yang D-M
J Chin Med Assoc. 2022 Jul 11.
PMID: 35816282.


The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and its variants of concern can infect people of all ages and can cause severe diseases in children, such as encephalitis, which require intensive care. Therefore, vaccines are urgently required to prevent severe disease in all age groups. We reviewed the safety and efficacy profiles of mRNA vaccines-BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273-demonstrated by clinical trials or observed in the real world. mRNA-1273 is effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection in preschool children (6 months-6 years old). Both BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 are effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection in school-aged children and adolescents, thereby preventing post-COVID conditions. The common side effects of vaccination are pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. Myocarditis and pericarditis are uncommon. Monitoring post-vaccination troponin levels may help prevent severe cardiac events. The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus mutates its genome to overcome the herd immunity provided by mass vaccinations; therefore, we may need to develop new generations of vaccines, such as those using viral nucleocapsid proteins as antigens. In conclusion, the mRNA vaccines are generally safe and effective in preventing severe diseases and hospitalization among children and adolescents.