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Moderna reports 'robust' COVID-19 vaccine response in children aged 6 to 11

Moderna reports 'robust' COVID-19 vaccine response in children aged 6 to 11

A medical worker prepares a shot of the Moderna vaccine during a vaccination campaign at Saint Damien Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Jul 27, 2021. (Photo: AP/Joseph Odelyn)

WASHINGTON: US pharmaceutical giant Moderna on Monday (Oct 25) reported a "robust neutralising antibody response" to its COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 6 to 11, and said that it will submit the trial data to global regulators soon.

"We are encouraged by the immunogenicity and safety profile of mRNA-1273 in children aged 6 to under 12 years and are pleased that the study met its primary immunogenicity endpoints," chief executive Stephane Bancel said in a statement.

Data from clinical trials with 4,753 children in the age range "demonstrate strong immune response ... one month after the second dose", Moderna said in the statement.

Moderna said majority of the side effects in the trial were mild or moderate in severity, with fatigue, headache, fever and injection site pain the most common.

The vaccines used in the trial were 50 microgram doses, half the strength used in the primary vaccine series for adults. The 50 microgram dose is also authorised for use as a booster shot.

The results come after Pfizer said last week that its COVID-19 vaccine was 90 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic disease among children aged 5 to 11.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has called an advisory panel of independent experts to meet Tuesday to vote on whether to green light Pfizer's shot.

Overall, more than 150 children aged 5 to 11 have died from COVID-19 in the United States since the start of the pandemic, according to official data.

The administration of President Joe Biden has said it stands ready to roll out shots for the country's 28 million 5 to 11-year-olds as soon as a vaccine is authorised by science agencies.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has been authorised for adults over the age of 18 years, and recently gained clearance for a third dose in some Americans.

However, FDA is yet to authorise the vaccine for use in adolescents aged 12 through 17. Sweden has paused the use of the Moderna vaccine for younger age groups after reports of cases of heart inflammation in young adults.

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Source: AGENCIES/jt

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