Effectiveness of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) mRNA Vaccination Against Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children Among Persons Aged 12-18 Years - United States, July-December 2021

Overcoming COVID-19 Investigators

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199 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalMorbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 14 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
All authors have completed and submitted the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. Jennifer E. Schuster reports institutional support from Merck for an RSV research study, unrelated to the current work. Adrienne G. Randolph reports institutional support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (NIH), royalties from UpToDate as the Pediatric Critical Care Section Editor, and participation on a data safety monitoring board (DSMB) for a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development-funded study. Pia S. Pannaraj reports institutional support from AstraZeneca and Pfizer, consulting fees from Sanofi-Pasteur and Seqirus, payment from law firms for expert testimony, participation on a Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases DSMB, and an unpaid leadership role in the California Immunization Coalition. Ryan A. Nofziger reports institutional support from NIH for participation in a multicenter influenza study. Satoshi Kamidani reports institutional support from NIH and Pfizer. Charlotte V. Hobbs reports consulting fees from Dynamed and honoraria from Biofire/ Biomerieux. Natasha B. Halasa reports grants from Sanofi and Quidel and an educational grant from Genentech. Natalie Z. Cvijanovich reports a speaker’s registration discount at the Society of Critical Care Medicine meeting. Samina S. Bhumbra reports receipt of an NIH, NIAID training grant during September 1, 2019–August 31, 2020. No other potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.


  • Adolescent
  • BNT162 Vaccine/therapeutic use
  • COVID-19/complications
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Acuity
  • SARS-CoV-2/immunology
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/drug therapy
  • United States/epidemiology
  • Vaccine Efficacy

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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