Moderna Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Is Safe for Children Under Age 6: Report

by Samantha Whidden

As many parents of young children wait for their children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna announced that after its testing and trials, its vaccine is safe for children under the age of 6. According to the New York Post, the pharmaceutical company is now planning to ask the FDA to authorize two small doses of its shots for children younger than six years of age.

What We Know

  • Moderna is asking the FDA to authorize two small-dose shots for children younger than age 6.
  • Children under the age of 5 are currently in the only age group not eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • Moderna says a quarter of the dose of its COVID-19 vaccine for adults works well for children under 6.
  • Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is around 44% effective in children six months to 2-years-old. It is about 38% effective for children 2-to-5-years-old. 

Moderna CEO, Stéphane Bancel, issued a statement about seeking regulator approval. “Given the need for a vaccine against COVID-19 in infants and young children, we are working with the U.S. FDA and regulators globally to submit these data as soon as possible.”

The Moderna CEO also declares that the company is updating its submission to the FDA for emergency use authorization of mRNA-1273 in adolescents ages 12 to 17 years with additional follow-up data. “We remain committed to helping to end the COVID-19 pandemic with a vaccine for children of all ages.”

Moderna went on to add that similar to adults, it is preparing to evaluate the potential of a booster dose for all pediatric population. This includes those ages six months to under 6 years; 6 to under 12 years; and adolescents. “The Company is evaluating booster doses of mRNA-1273 and its bivalent booster candidate (mRNA-1273.214), which includes Omicron variant booster and mRNA-1273.”

How Effective Is the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine in Younger Children?

CNBC also reports that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is about 44% effective at preventing infection from omicron in kids 6 months to 2-years-old. It is about 38% effective for children 2-to-5-years-old. The company states a quarter of the dose of its vaccine for adults works well for children under 6. Moderna adds there is no new safety concerns in children under 6 for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Around 17% of children under 2 developed a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, slightly more than 14% of children 2-to-5-years-old also developed a fever. There were only a few children that developed a fever higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The latest news from Moderna comes just weeks after the FDA sought to expedite the authorization of the first two doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5. This was due to the omicron variant outbreak last month. However, the process has been delayed due to data not meeting expectations.