Moderna's COVID Vaccine Produces Strong Immune Response In Young Kids

by Erica Gerald Mason
Eduardo Sanz/Europa Press/Getty

Many parents have been waiting anxiously for the announcement from Moderna

In promising news, the coronavirus vaccine made by Moderna is safe and produces a powerful immune response in children 6 through 11, the pharmaceutical company announced Monday. The news is most likely a relief for parents who have been waiting for more research surrounding the safety of the vaccine in younger children.

Children receiving both jabs in Moderna’s trial had antibody levels 1.5 times higher than those in young adults after one month, the company said. According to The New York Times, the Moderna study tested the vaccine in 4,753 children over an eight-week period. Each shot contained 50 micrograms of vaccine, which amounts to half of the adult dose.

One Twitter user quickly did the math about the efficacy of the COVID vaccinations.

It’s important to point out here that Moderna did not release the entire dataset, nor were the findings published in a peer-reviewed journal. The results of the company’s research were announced just one day before a panel of experts with the Food and Drug Administration will review vaccine data for children aged 5 to 11.

Despite Moderna’s submission of study results in June for adolescents 12 through 17, the Food and Drug Administration is still reviewing the data, and it has not yet approved the vaccine for this age group.

The delay may be due to some research that shows the Moderna vaccine might increase the risk of a rare side effect called myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, among boys and young men. The FDA asked Pfizer and Moderna to expand their trials in order in order to detect and report on lesser side effects in July.

Moderna said in its statement on Monday that most of the side effects experienced by children aged 6 through 11 were mild or moderate. The most common side effects were fatigue, headache, fever, and pain at the injection site. What’s more, after the second dose of the vaccine, an independent panel will review the vaccine’s safety in the trial participants for another year.

As of this writing, Moderna is still recruiting children aged 2 to 5 and 6 months to under 2 years for trials of the vaccine in those age groups. In the United States and Canada, about 5,700 children have been enrolled in the trial.

According to Moderna, the results will be submitted to the FDA and to other regulatory bodies soon.