Parental Vaccination Reduces Hospitalization Risk Due to COVID-19 in Children

The study results reinforce recommendations for widespread vaccination of parents of young children.

Parental COVID-19 vaccination status decreases the risk for hospitalization due to COVID-19 infection in children younger than 5 years, according to study findings published in JAMA Network Open.

Researchers in France conducted a retrospective cohort study and obtained data from the Pediatric Observatory (PANDOR) study of parental vaccination status and children younger than 5 years hospitalized with COVID-19 between May 12, 2021, and February 14, 2022. Of the 599 children admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19 infection, data regarding parental vaccination status were available for 208.

Of the 208 children, 163 (78%) were younger than 5 years, 63 (30%) were admitted during the Delta wave, 94 (45%) during the Omicron wave, and 6 (3%) during the washout period between waves.

Parental COVID-19 vaccination reduced the risk for hospitalization due to COVID-19 infection in children younger than 5 years during both waves, particularly during the Delta wave (hazard ratio [HR], 0.03; 95% CI, 0.02-0.06) compared with the Omicron wave (HR, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.14-0.33). This suggested that the association between vaccination and protection was lower during the Omicron wave, potentially due to higher viral transmissibility lower vaccine efficacy.

The association between parent vaccination and reduced risk of admission for SARS-CoV-2 in children younger than 5 years suggests that parents played a major role in transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to their young children during both waves.

The study was limited by its retrospective design. The researchers also did not account for the presence of siblings who might have transmitted COVID-19 to these children, the true source of COVID-19 in these households, the dates of parental vaccination, and whether the parents obtained booster vaccinations.

The researchers concluded, “The association between parent vaccination and reduced risk of admission for SARS-CoV-2 in children younger than 5 years suggests that parents played a major role in transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to their young children during both waves.”

Disclosures: Several authors declared affiliations with pharmaceutical, device, and/or biotech companies. Please see the original reference for full list of disclosures.

References:

Solignac F, Ouldali N, Aupiais C, et al. Analysis of COVID-19 vaccination status among parents of hospitalized children younger than 5 years with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the delta and omicron waves. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(11):e2242295. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.42295