Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was highly effective in 12- to 17-year-old children in a large study, the company announced Tuesday, paving the way for its likely approval by federal-health authorities. It would be the second such vaccine approved for teenagers following approval of Pfizer’s shot, which was also shown to be 100 percent effective in adolescents.
In Moderna’s study of more than 3,700 children, the vaccine was shown to be 93 percent effective two weeks after the first dose was administered and 100 percent effective after the second dose. Investigators recorded zero coronavirus cases in the vaccinated group 14 days after the second dose, and four in the placebo group. The drugmaker said its shot was “generally well tolerated” and didn’t identify any new safety concerns.
Following the successful trial, the pharmaceutical company said it will seek emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in early June. As CNBC notes, that approval process could take up to a month. Under that timeline, the vaccine could play a role in a back-to-school vaccination push.
Moderna’s vaccine is currently authorized only for people age 18 and up in the U.S., though the FDA expanded the authorization of Pfizer’s jab on May 10 to include people as young as 12. Even younger children could be on their way to eligibility, too: Pfizer and Moderna are already testing their vaccines in children as young as 6 months, with results from the clinical trials expected by the end of the year.