Moderna announced this week that it is now in Phase 2 and 3 testing of children as young as 6 months old for a two-shot coronavirus vaccine. Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine has been under an emergency use authorization for adults since December, but has yet to be deemed effective and safe for children.
There has not been much pressure on vaccine makers to make the vaccine immediately available for children given that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus, and there has been limited supply of the vaccine. As the vaccine supply ramps up, getting children vaccinated will be part of the public health strategy to get the US to herd immunity.
The study will involve 6,750 children. The children will be given various dosage amounts of the vaccine, with some receiving a placebo.
“We are pleased to begin this Phase 2/3 study of mRNA-1273 in healthy children in the U.S. and Canada and we thank NIAID and BARDA for their collaboration,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna. “It is humbling to know that 53 million doses have been administered to people in the U.S. 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.”
As of Wednesday, 22.2 percent of the US population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, 12% are fully vaccinated.