Moderna has applied to get approval for the Corona vaccine for children 6-11

Moderna says a low dose COVID dose is suitable for children ages 6-11

Moderna said Monday that its low-dose COVID-19 vaccine is safe and appears to work in children ages 6 to 11, as the manufacturer moves toward expanding the shots to children.

Competitor Pfizer's small-volume vaccine doses are closer to widespread use, being evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration for roughly the same age group -- starting at age five.

Moderna has not yet received approval to offer its vaccine to teenagers but is studying lower doses in younger children while it waits. The researchers tested two shots of children ages 6 to 11, one month apart, each containing half the amount given to adults.

Moderna said in a press release that preliminary results showed that the vaccinated children developed virus-fighting antibodies similar to levels produced by young adults after full-strength shots.

The study included 4,753 children between the ages of 6 and 11 who received either the vaccine or the placebo injection. Moderna said that children vaccinated like adults experience temporary side effects including fatigue, headache, fever, and pain at the injection site.

The study was on a small sample to detect any infrequent side effects, such as heart inflammation that sometimes occurs after the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines and often among young adults.

Moderna plans to submit its pediatric data to the Food and Drug Administration and global regulators soon. (FDA) has not issued a ruling on the company's request to extend vaccinations to people ages 12 to 17. However, some countries have legalized Moderna's shots for teens.

But the United States is expected to start vaccinating children under 12 sometime next month if the Food and Drug Administration clears small doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines for children ages 5 to 11. Pfizer reported last week that its pediatric doses are nearly 91% effective in preventing symptoms of COVID-19 in the younger age group, even as the highly contagious delta variant becomes more widespread.

FDA advisors will deliberate on Pfizer's evidence at a public meeting on Tuesday. If the agency allows Pfizer's pediatric injections the next week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will recommend who should receive them.

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