ModernaThe manufacturer is moving to offer children more vaccines and Monday said that the COVID-19 vaccine in a lower dose was safe.

Competitor Pfizer’s kid-sized vaccine doses are closer to widespread use, undergoing evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration for nearly the same age group — starting at age 5. This vaccine has been approved by the FDA for all ages 12 years and over.

Moderna hasn’t yet gotten the nod to offer its vaccine to teens but is studying lower doses in younger children while it waits. Two shots were given for children aged 6 to 11, one month apart. Each shot contained half of the adult dose.

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine bottle is shown being held by a healthcare worker. Moderna stated Monday that the COVID-19 vaccine can be administered in low amounts to children aged 6 to 11.
Pacific Press via Getty Images

Moderna stated in a press statement that preliminary results indicated that vaccinated children produced virus-fighting antibodies comparable to those found in young adults after receiving full-strength shots.

Study participants included 4753 children ranging in age from 6 to 11. They received the vaccine or dummy shot. Moderna stated that the side effects of vaccinations for children were similar to those experienced by adults. They suffered from fatigue, headaches, and pain at the injection site.

It was impossible to detect any rare side effects such as inflammation of the heart, which can sometimes occur after Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. This is mostly a problem with young men.

Moderna stated that it will soon submit the company’s pediatric data to regulators worldwide and to FDA. The FDA hasn’t yet ruled on the company’s application to expand its vaccinations to 12- to 17-year-olds, although some countries have cleared Moderna’s shots for adolescents.

If the FDA approves small doses Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines for children aged 5 to 11, the U.S. may begin to vaccinate kids younger than 12 years old by next month. Pfizer announced last week that their kid-sized doses were nearly 91% effective in protecting symptomatic COVID-19 for children younger than 12 years old, even while the delta variant spread widely.

FDA’s advisers will deliberate Pfizer’s evidence in a public meeting Tuesday. If the agency authorizes Pfizer’s kid shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the following week is set to recommend who should receive them.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. All content remains the responsibility of the Associated Press.


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