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DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7102e1


Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a severe postinfectious hyperinflammatory condition, which generally occurs 2-6 weeks after a typically mild or asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (1-3). In the United States, the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) COVID-19 vaccine is currently authorized for use in children and adolescents aged 5-15 years under an Emergency Use Authorization and is fully licensed by the Food and Drug Administration for persons aged ≥16 years (4). Prelicensure randomized trials in persons aged ≥5 years documented high vaccine efficacy and immunogenicity (5),§ and real-world studies in persons aged 12-18 years demonstrated high vaccine effectiveness (VE) against severe COVID-19 (6). Recent evidence suggests that COVID-19 vaccination is associated with lower MIS-C incidence among adolescents (7); however, VE of the 2-dose Pfizer-BioNTech regimen against MIS-C has not been evaluated. The effectiveness of 2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received ≥28 days before hospital admission in preventing MIS-C was assessed using a test-negative case-control design¶ among hospitalized patients aged 12-18 years at 24 pediatric hospitals in 20 states** during July 1-December 9, 2021, the period when most MIS-C patients could be temporally linked to SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant predominance. Patients with MIS-C (case-patients) and two groups of hospitalized controls matched to case-patients were evaluated: test-negative controls had at least one COVID-19-like symptom and negative SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or antigen-based assay results, and syndrome-negative controls were hospitalized patients without COVID-19-like illness. Among 102 MIS-C case-patients and 181 hospitalized controls, estimated effectiveness of 2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against MIS-C was 91% (95% CI = 78%-97%). All 38 MIS-C patients requiring life support were unvaccinated. Receipt of 2 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is associated with a high level of protection against MIS-C in persons aged 12-18 years, highlighting the importance of vaccination among all eligible children.

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MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report





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Publication of the US Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.