The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday it had recommended Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for children and adolescents aged 6 to 17, allowing a rollout of the shots to begin for that age group.
COVID-19 vaccines this fall are likely to be based on the Omicron variant of the coronavirus rather than the original strain, although some experts suggest they may only offer significant benefits for older and immunocompromised people.
Advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are meeting on Thursday to decide on the use of Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine for children and adolescents aged 6 to 17, after months of delay in that age group due to safety concerns.
Moderna Inc. said on Wednesday that an updated version of its COVID-19 vaccine designed to target the Omicron variant also generated a strong immune response against the fast-spreading Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which have gained a foothold in the U.S. in recent weeks.
“Our goal is as early as August given we’re going to file all the data in June, by the end of June… hopefully in the August timeframe, the vaccine is authorised,” said Chief Executive Stephane Bancel.
The rollout in the United States this week of COVID vaccines for children as young as six months is likely to start slowly, and then pick up in the coming days, according to White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha.
On Friday, the World Trade Organization approved vaccine patent waivers to increase the availability of COVID-19 vaccines to lower-income countries.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized two COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 and under, opening the door to vaccinating millions of the country’s youngest children.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) started a rolling review on Friday of a variant-adapted COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna, as coronavirus cases linked to Omicron sub-variants see an uptick in the region.
Advisers to the U.S Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday unanimously recommended the agency authorize COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc./BioNTech SE for millions of the youngest American children.