Mar 16, 2021 - Health

Moderna begins testing COVID vaccine on kids aged 6 months to 11 years

Moderna vaccines
Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna announced Tuesday that it has begun testing its coronavirus vaccine on children ages six months to less than 12 years in a Phase 2/3 trial beginning in the U.S. and Canada.

Why it matters: It's an important step in expanding the vaccine rollout beyond adults, who are at higher risk of severe disease and have been a focus of inoculation campaigns around the world thus far.

The big picture: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in addition to other regulatory agencies around the world, has issued an emergency use authorization for Moderna's vaccine for patients 18 years and older.

  • Moderna and Pfizer both launched clinical trials in December to test their vaccines on children aged 12 to 17 years old.
  • The Moderna trial announced Tuesday will enroll approximately 6,750 pediatric participants in the U.S. and Canada ages 6 months to less than 12 years.

What they're saying: "We are encouraged by the primary analysis of the Phase 3 COVE study of mRNA-1273 in adults ages 18 and above and this pediatric study will help us assess the potential safety and immunogenicity of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate in this important younger age population," Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.

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