"Vaccination cocoon" protects children from coronavirus: what is it?

Natalia SofienkoSociety
Children can get significant protection from coronavirus if everyone around them is vaccinated

To protect a child from the coronavirus, all adults around them need to be vaccinated - to create a so-called "vaccination cocoon". This will not guarantee 100% that children will not become infected, but the risk will be significantly reduced.

This is stated in new research conducted in Israel. They showed that vaccinating all adults in one family reduces the transmission of COVID-19. The studies were published in the journal Science.

One study looked at the period from January to March 2021, when the Alpha coronavirus variant was widespread, and from July to September 2021, when the Delta variant prevailed in Israel. During the first period, children in Israel had not yet been vaccinated against the virus. By the second time period, only children 12 years and older were allowed to be vaccinated.

The researchers found that children living in a family with one vaccinated parent had a 26% lower risk of contracting COVID-19 in early 2021. The presence of a vaccinated parent still protected against Delta, but the rate dropped to 20.8%.

If a child lived in a house where both parents were vaccinated, the risk of COVID-19 infection was significantly reduced. During the spread of Alpha, children with two vaccinated parents had a 71.7% reduced risk of contracting COVID-19, and Delta - 58.1%.

"Parental vaccination provides significant protection for unvaccinated children in the family," the researchers emphasised.

In another study, researchers took into account data on families where parents were vaccinated by Pfizer before and after the spread of Delta.

As a result, the overall effectiveness of the vaccine before Delta was almost 92% within 10-90 days after vaccination and 61% more than three months after the second dose.

With the spread of Delta, the efficacy of Pfizer's vaccine dropped to 65% within 10-90 days and to 24% more than three months after the second dose.

However, the decrease in effectiveness did not significantly affect children's outcomes. When the researchers looked at the risks to minors in these families, they found a greater reduction in risk for children exposed to vaccinated infected family members, regardless of which strain of COVID-19 was circulating.

"Adults have always been the main carriers of this virus, and so we have always been obliged to get vaccinated, wear masks and be careful. We are the ones who provoke these outbreaks in the first place. We are the ones who can ensure the safety of our children," the scientists said.

As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, the Ukrainian government is considering paying financial assistance under the eSupport programme to adolescents from the age of 12 who have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

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