Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine works in kids as young as 12

NOW: Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine works in kids as young as 12

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Updated: 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Another COVID-19 vaccine option for kids older than 12 may be around the corner, results of Moderna’s vaccine study in kids ages 12 to 17 show it had 100-percent efficacy after two doses. Doctors say kids make up 20 to 25-percent of the whole population. They say having a second option for kids older than 12 will only help reach 70 to 80-percent herd immunity faster.

“We’re going to have to vaccinate a certain percentage of our children -- and so this will get us there that much more quickly,” said Dr. William Hartman, principal investigator of UW Health AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial.

More than 3,700 kids ages 12 to 17 participated in the Moderna trial. The company reports no significant safety concerns, with the most common side effects being injection site pain, headache and fatigue.

“Two weeks after the first dose it was 93-percent effective, and after two doses it was 100% effective,” adds Dr. Hartman.

“An initial review showed that not only did the vaccine provide a robust immune response, but like Pfizer—it appeared to have an efficacy of 100-percent, none of the children who received the vaccine got sick with COVID,” says Dr. Ben Weston, medical director at Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management and associate professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Along with providing another option for teens 12 and older, Dr. Hartman says Moderna’s findings could also have a global effect with the need for more vaccines in other countries.

“It will allow us to move more quickly and distribute more of these vaccines worldwide to the countries that need them,” he says.

Dr. Ben Weston says some parents are hesitant. He says while most kids have mild COVID-19 symptoms, he warns parents of the unknowns and possible long-term effects of the disease.

“Taken in balance, the risk of COVID to your child is much greater than any possible risk from the vaccine,” Dr. Weston said. “The long-term effects can have negative impacts and long-term damage to your heart, your lungs, your brain, your blood vessels.”

“They can still pass that virus on to other people, so getting them vaccinated is a very important part,” says Dr. Hartman.

Moderna plans to apply for FDA authorization in early June, and by that time vaccinations at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee will have ended. Milwaukee’s health commissioner says because there are less people coming in for first doses at the Wisconsin Center, her focus is now transitioning to mobile and community sites.

“We have actually 265 community clinics scheduled through the end of the summer and are adding to that number every day,” said Kirsten Johnson, Milwaukee’s health commissioner.

For kids 12 and older that do want to get their vaccine, the Wisconsin Center will continue to administer Pfizer vaccines from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. until its last day, Friday, May 28.

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Updated: 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25

(AP) -- Moderna said Tuesday its COVID-19 vaccine strongly protects kids as young as 12, a step that could put the shot on track to become the second option for that age group in the U.S.

With global vaccine supplies still tight, much of the world is struggling to vaccinate adults in the quest to end the pandemic. But earlier this month, the U.S. and Canada authorized another vaccine — the shot made by Pfizer and BioNTech — to be used starting at age 12.

Moderna aims to be next in line, saying it will submit its teen data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other global regulators early next month.

The company studied more than 3,700 12- to 17-year-olds. Preliminary findings showed the vaccine triggered the same signs of immune protection in kids as it does in adults, and the same kind of temporary side effects such as sore arms, headache and fatigue.

There were no COVID-19 diagnoses in those given two doses of the Moderna vaccine compared with four cases among kids given dummy shots. In a press release, the company also said the vaccine appeared 93% effective two weeks after the first dose.

While children are far less likely than adults to get seriously ill from COVID-19, they represent about 14% of the nation’s coronavirus cases. At least 316 have died in the U.S. alone, according to a tally by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

With plenty of vaccine supply in the U.S., younger teens flocked to get Pfizer’s shot in the days after FDA opened it to them, part of a push to get as many kids vaccinated as possible before the next school year.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have begun testing in even younger children, from age 11 down to 6-month-old babies. This testing is more complex: Teens receive the same dose as adults, but researchers are testing smaller doses in younger children. Experts hope to see some results in the fall.

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Posted: 7:18 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25

(AP) -- Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine strongly protects kids as young as 12.

The company released the preliminary findings Tuesday based on testing on more than 3,700 12- to 17-year-olds in the United States.

Earlier this month, the U.S. and Canada authorized another vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech to be used starting at age 12.

Moderna intends to submit its teen data to the Food and Drug Administration and other global regulators early next month.

Moderna says its vaccine triggered the same signs of immune protection in kids as it does in adults, and the same mild, temporary side effects.

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