U.S. CDC advisers weigh Moderna COVID vaccine for teens, older children

June 23 (Reuters) – 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 (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine for children and adolescents aged 6 to 17, after months of delay in that age group due to safety concerns.

Should they vote to recommend its use, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky must then sign off for the U.S. government to start rolling the Moderna vaccine out for these children and teens.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine sits on the table at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., February 13, 2021. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski

The Pfizer (PFE.N)-BioNTech (22UAy.DE) vaccine, based on similar messenger RNA technology, has been available for teens for over a year and for children aged 5-11 since October.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November delayed a decision on Moderna’s shot in the age group now under consideration on concerns that it could cause heart inflammation, particularly in younger men, at higher rates than the Pfizer vaccine.

The FDA authorized Moderna’s vaccine just last week for the 6-11 age group, along with clearance for use in children aged 5 and under. read more

The agency last week said more recent U.S. data showed that while there was a numerically higher risk of myocarditis or pericarditis with Moderna’s shot, the findings were not statistically significant, meaning they might be due to chance. read more

Nearly 60% of U.S. children and teens ages 12-17 years have been fully vaccinated so far, while the proportion of vaccinated children aged 5-11 years has been significantly lower at nearly 30%.

Reporting by Manas Mishra and Leroy Leo in Bengaluru, and Michael Erman in New Jersey; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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Source: Reuters