What to Know About the Moderna Vaccine Trial in Teens
On the heels of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial and approval, Moderna is performing its own trial on youths ages 12 to 17. Upon approval for authorized use, Moderna’s vaccine would be the second option available for this age group and allow for even more young people to get vaccinated.
Moderna has more than 3,700 youths enrolled in the trial and says its vaccine is proving to be safe and effective. Recent blood tests from those enrolled showed an immune response equivalent to prior findings in adult trials.
How effective is it?
None of the children who received the vaccine got sick with COVID-19, making the Moderna vaccine 100% effective. Four of the children who received a placebo tested positive for COVID-19. Moderna also reviewed how effective its vaccine was after just one dose, and results showed 93% efficacy at preventing mild cases of COVID-19.
When will it be approved?
Moderna plans to submit results to the Food and Drug Administration this summer to request authorization for use in this age group.
Why has it taken longer for a vaccine to be approved for children?
A child’s immune response should be specifically studied when given a vaccine. The vaccine had to demonstrate adequate levels of efficacy and safety in adults before considering starting trials on children. Pfizer initially only recruited 16- and 17-year-olds for its vaccine trial for children. In October 2020, Pfizer received approval to enroll children as young as 12 into the trial and was granted emergency use authorization by the FDA for those ages 12 years and older.
Should my child get the vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics urges youths and adults to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to them.
Currently, Pfizer has been given emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12-15 and can be scheduled to be received now. The introduction of the Moderna vaccine will offer more choices for your child and increase the supply available later this year. Clinical trials are also underway for children under 12 years old.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit Ochsner.org/vaccine.