Apr 28, 2022 - Health

Moderna seeks emergency authorization for COVID-19 vaccine in young children

A health worker draws the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as she prepares to administer the spring booster also known as fourth jab to a person at a vaccination clinic

A health worker draws the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Moderna on Thursday submitted a request to the FDA for emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine in children 6 months to under 6 years of age.

Why it matters: Young children have been largely unprotected throughout the pandemic. The FDA's approval could ultimately permit them to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The big picture: Moderna said last month its COVID-19 vaccine for children — which consists of two 25-microgram doses — generated a strong immune response in children ages 6 months to 5 years.

  • Efficacy was 43.7% for children ages 6 months to 2 years and 37.5% in children ages 2 to 6, clinical trial data showed.
  • "The majority of cases were mild, and no severe COVID-19 disease was observed in either age group," the drugmaker said last month.

Driving the news: "We believe mRNA-1273 will be able to safely protect these children against SARS-CoV-2, which is so important in our continued fight against COVID-19, and will be especially welcomed by parents and caregivers," Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.

Moderna also said Thursday that it is evaluating booster doses for children, including those ages 6 months to under 6 years.

Go deeper: The high-stakes push to get COVID vaccines to young children

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