CDC advisers recommend Moderna's vaccine for children and teens ages 6 to 17.

Advisors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously on Thursday to recommend Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for ...


Advisors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously on Thursday to recommend Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for children and teens ages 6 to 17.

Their approval was neither a surprise nor an anticipated urgency. The Food and Drug Administration authorized the Moderna vaccine for this age group late last weekand the decisions of the two agencies have rarely been contradictory.

The recommendation was one of the last hurdles before a second vaccine option became available to a wide range of people under the age of 18. The vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech has been available for children ages 5 to 15 since last year and for Americans ages 16 and older since late 2020.

Moderna’s vaccine was licensed for adults in December 2020. Last June, the company applied to use its vaccine in adolescents aged 12 to 17, who would receive 100 micrograms, the same dose as adults. But while the FDA took about a month to approve Pfizer’s application for older children, it blocked Moderna’s application.

In an October announcement, Moderna said the FDA was review of reports who suggested that his vaccine could cause heart problems in teenagers. The company also said it would delay seeking approval for children ages 6 to 11 until the FDA has made a decision for older children.

In May, Moderna submitted its request to the FDA for children ages 6 to 11, who would receive 50 micrograms, or half the adult dose.

In a closely watched two-day meeting last week, FDA advisers first approved the Moderna vaccine for children from 6 to 17 years old, then the use of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children from the age of 6 months.

At their meeting on Thursday, committee members were presented with data indicating that the Moderna vaccine has an efficacy against symptomatic infection of about 80% in children 6-11 years old and about 90% in adolescents 12-17 years old. But this data was all collected before the arrival of the Omicron variant, which showed some ability to evade immunity.

“We know that Covid can cause serious illness and death in children and adolescents, including those without underlying medical conditions,” said Dr. Sara Oliver, a CDC scientist who presented some of the data.

“The benefits outweigh the risks of Covid-19 mRNA vaccines at all ages,” Dr Oliver said.

CDC researchers have said the Moderna vaccine is overall safe. It carries a very low risk of transient heart problems in adolescent boys ages 12 to 17, but a similar risk was seen with the Pfizer vaccine, according to Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, a CDC scientist who presented the data.

Several studies have shown that Covid itself carries a much higher risk of heart problems than either vaccine.

However, to minimize the risk of heart problems, the CDC now recommends that boys and men aged 12 to 39 space their doses eight weeks apart.

Much of Thursday’s discussion focused on the potential confusion for providers administering different vaccines, at different doses, for several different age groups.

There are no data on the usefulness of a Moderna vaccine booster for children and adolescents, and the FDA has only cleared the vaccine for primary doses. But that data will likely be available by the time those children become eligible for a Moderna booster shot, CDC scientists said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: CDC advisers recommend Moderna's vaccine for children and teens ages 6 to 17.
CDC advisers recommend Moderna's vaccine for children and teens ages 6 to 17.
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