MODERNA’S Covid-19 vaccine works in babies, toddlers and preschoolers, the company announced on March 23, 2022, a development that could pave the way for the littlest kids to be vaccinated by summer if regulators agree.
Moderna said it would ask regulators in the US and Europe to authorise two small-dose shots for youngsters under six. The company also seeks to have larger doses cleared for older children and teens in the US.
The announcement is positive news for parents anxiously awaiting protection for younger tots who have been continuously disappointed by setbacks and confusion over which shots might work and when. The nation’s 18 million children under five are the only age group not yet eligible for vaccination.
“The vaccine provides the same protection against Covid in young kids as it does in adults. We think that’s good news,” Dr Stephen Hoge, Moderna’s President, told The Associated Press.
Competitor Pfizer currently offers kid-size doses for school-age children and full-strength shots for those 12 and older. And the company is testing even smaller doses for children under five but had to add a third shot to its study when two didn’t prove strong enough.
Parents may find it confusing that Moderna is seeking to vaccinate the youngest children before it’s cleared to vaccinate teens. While other countries already have allowed Moderna’s shots to be used in children as young as six, the US has limited its vaccine to adults.
The FDA hasn’t ruled on Moderna’s earlier request to expand its shots to 12- to 17-year-olds because of concern about a very rare side effect. Heart inflammation sometimes occurs in teens and young adults, mostly males, after receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.