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EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-336968


Background: The safety of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is unknown in children aged <5 years. Here, we retrospectively evaluated the safety of BNT162b2 vaccine used off-label in children of this age group in Germany. Methods An investigator-initiated retrospective cohort study (CoVacU5) included parents or caregivers having children aged <5 years registered for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in outpatient care facilities in Germany. Reported short-term safety data of 1-3 doses of 3-10ug BNT162b2 in children aged 0 to <60 months are presented. Co-primary outcomes were the frequencies of 11 categories of symptoms post-vaccination with bivariate analyses and regression models adjusting for age, sex, weight and height. On-label non-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines served as controls in an active-comparator design. Results The study included 7806 representing a 41% response rate of 19,000 registered children. 338 children received the first dose of BNT162b2 at age 0-<12 months, n=1272 at age 12-24 months and n=5629 at age ≥24 to <60 months. A 10ug dosage was more frequently associated with injection-site symptoms compared to lower dosages. The probability of any symptoms (OR: 1.62 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.36-1.94]), injection-site, musculoskeletal, dermatological or otolaryngological symptom categories were modestly elevated after BNT12b2 compared to non-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, whereas the probabilities of general symptoms (OR: 0.74 [95% CI: 0.64-0.85]) and fever (OR: 0.43 [95% CI: 0.35-0.51]) were lower after BNT162b2. Symptoms requiring hospitalization (n=10) were reported only at BNT162b2 dosages higher than 3ug. Conclusions The symptoms reported after BNT162b2 administration were overall comparable to on-label non-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in this cohort of children aged <5 years.