Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine effective in adolescents aged 12-17
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was shown to be effective in adolescents aged 12-17 and showed no new or major safety problems in a clinical trial, the developer said on Tuesday.
The development potentially sets the stage for a second vaccine for school-aged children to be authorized in the summertime.
With global vaccine supplies still tight, much of the world is struggling to vaccinate adults in the quest to end the pandemic. But earlier this month, the U.S. and Canada authorized another vaccine — the shot made by Pfizer and BioNTech — to be used starting at age 12.
Moderna aims to be next in line, saying it will submit its teen data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other global regulators early next month.
The company studied more than 3,700 12- to 17-year-olds. Preliminary findings showed the vaccine triggered the same signs of immune protection in kids as it does in adults, and the same kind of temporary side effects such as sore arms, headache, and fatigue.
Canada approved Pfizer’s shot for those aged 12 to 15 before the U.S.
Most children with COVID-19 develop only mild symptoms or no symptoms. Yet children remain at risk of becoming seriously ill, and they can spread the virus. Widely vaccinating 12- to 18-year olds could allow U.S. schools and summer camps to relax masking and social distancing measures suggested by the CDC. Canada hasn’t yet provided any similar guidance on vaccinated citizens and potentially relaxed measures.
“We are encouraged that mRNA-1273 was highly effective at preventing COVID-19 in adolescents,” Stéphane Bancel, Moderna’s chief executive, said in a statement.