Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backed use of
Covid-19 vaccine in children ages 6 to 17 years.
Children in the age group already have access to Covid-19 vaccines made by
and its partner
The advisers recommended on Thursday that Moderna’s shot should also be made available to that age range, in a pair of 15-0 votes.
The advisers’ endorsement follows the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of the shots last week. It is one of the last steps before the Moderna shot would be more broadly available in doctors’ offices, pharmacies and vaccine clinics.
Many states and vaccination sites wait for the CDC’s signoff before providing the inoculations. It typically follows the recommendations of its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices but doesn’t have to. The panel is made up of pediatricians, epidemiologists and other health experts.
About 60% of 12- to 17-year-olds and 30% of children ages 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Moderna’s vaccine has been authorized for people 18 years and older since December 2020.
FDA staff found in a review of Moderna’s clinical trial data that the vaccines were safe and effective in 6- to 17-year-olds.
The two-dose regimen successfully boosted antibodies in children, the agency said, at a rate similar to the immune response in young adults. And the vaccine was 93% effective against Covid-19 in children ages 12 to 17 years in a study conducted when the original coronavirus strains were circulating, and 77% effective in children ages 6 to 11.
The younger children were studied when the Delta variant was predominant. Other studies in adults have found that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines didn’t hold up as well against other variants, especially Omicron.
The CDC and its advisers last week recommended Covid-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months to 5 years, prompting some parents and caregivers to sign up for inoculations.
CDC staff have said the risks of hospitalization and death from Covid-19, while lower for children than for older adults, are similar to or higher than risks from diseases that Americans commonly vaccinate children against, including Rubella and hepatitis A.
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