Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday voted unanimously to recommend Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for children and adolescents aged 6 through 17 years.
It was not unexpected nor urgently expected that they would endorse the vaccine. Moderna was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for this age group last week. These decisions have seldom been in conflict.
This recommendation is one of the final hurdles to overcome before another vaccine option can be made available for a wide range of children younger than 18. Pfizer’s and BioNTech made the vaccine available for children aged five to fifteen since last year. It was also available for Americans older than 16 years since late 2020.
Moderna’s vaccine was authorized for adults in December 2020. In June 2018, the company filed a petition to permit the use of its vaccine for adolescents 12-17 years old. These children would be given 100 micrograms. The F.D.A. took approximately a month to sign off on Pfizer’s application for older children. took roughly a month to sign off on Pfizer’s application for older children, it stalled Moderna’s application.
Moderna announced that the F.D.A. was launching in October. The company was looking into reports that its vaccine may cause problems for adolescents boys’ hearts. The company said that they would not submit an authorization application for children 6-11 years old until the F.D.A. was approved. Had made a decision about the older children.
Moderna filed its F.D.A. application in May. Children 6-11 years old would be given 50 micrograms or half of the adult dose.
Two-day meetings were closely monitored by advisers of the F.D.A. last week. First, they endorsed Moderna for children aged 6-17 years. Then, they endorsed both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines as well for infants as young children as early as six months.
On Thursday, members of the committee were shown data that indicated the Moderna vaccination is effective in symptomatic infections. The Moderna vaccine was found to be efficacious against about 80 percent of children 6-11 years old and 90 percent of adolescents 12-17 years. However, these data were collected prior to the Omicron variant’s arrival which may have helped with immunity.
“We know that Covid can cause severe disease and death among children and adolescents, including those without underlying medical conditions,” said Dr. Sara Oliver, a C.D.C. Scientist who presented some data.
“The benefits outweigh the risks for mRNA Covid-19 vaccines in all ages,”Dr. Oliver stated.
C.D.C. Researchers concluded that the Moderna vaccine was safe in general. The vaccine has a small chance of causing transient cardiac problems in adolescents aged 12-17 years old. However, the same risk was observed for Pfizer’s vaccine according to C.D.C. Dr. Tom Shimabukuro. The data were presented by the scientist.
Numerous studies show that Covid is more likely to cause heart disease than any other vaccine.
C.D.C. still recommends that heart health be monitored to reduce the chance of developing problems. Now, the C.D.C. suggests that men and boys between 12 and 39 be separated by eight weeks.
The discussion Thursday focused mainly on potential confusion among providers who administer different vaccines in different doses for different age groups.
A booster shot of Moderna vaccine is not recommended for use in children. Only primary doses of the vaccine were approved by the FDA. However, these data should be readily available for children who are eligible to receive a Moderna booster shot. According to scientists,
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