The U.S. Food and Drug Administration set June 14-15 as the new meeting date to review Moderna Inc.’s emergency authorization request for the company’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months to 5 years and Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine for those aged 6 months through 4 years.

Moderna, COVID-19 vaccine

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said on May 22 he expects a U.S. Food and Drug Administration decision on authorizing Moderna’s vaccine for children under age five within the next few weeks.

There appears to be a rise in COVID-19 illnesses, driven by Omicron subvariants, which may be better able to evade immunity from vaccines and previous infections and lower public health measures by the public such as masking and social distancing.

An advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is meeting on May 19 to discuss whether to recommend COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for children ages 5 to 11, a group that is just 29% vaccinated so far.

In a peer-reviewed study published May 17 in PLOS Medicine, scientists found that mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines were superior to adenovirus vector-based ones across major variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The United States will share technologies used to make COVID-19 vaccines through the World Health Organization and is working to expand rapid testing and antiviral treatments for hard-to-reach populations, President Joe Biden said on May 12.

Moderna, COVID-19 vaccine

Moderna Inc. has made all necessary submissions required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents and children.

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, pulmonologist Joseph Varon offered an opinion that made headlines around the world and went viral on social media. Varon was fighting two wars, he said: one against COVID and one against stupidity.

Moderna is still fending off patent challenges over the lipid nanoparticle delivery system used in the company’s COVID-19 vaccine, Spikevax.

COVID-19 vaccine makers are shifting gears and planning for a smaller, more competitive booster shot market after delivering as many doses as fast as they could over the last 18 months.