Moderna seeks authorization for vaccines; Young children candidates for COVID protection


COVID continues to spread throughout the world. Researchers have found ways to protect people. Photo credit: Cuyahoga County Board of Health

Kensington Boyanich, Business Manager

      Moderna has been seeking emergency use authorization for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months through 5 years of age. This would be the first COVID-19 vaccine for children younger than 5 in the U.S. which makes up around 18 million people, according to CNN.

      “Moderna officials have said the FDA is expected to move fast, and a Pfizer official suggested its vaccine could be available for younger children in June, if it is authorized,” CNN continues. Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research called vaccines for younger children “one of our highest priorities,” but acknowledged the agency needed complete applications from vaccine manufacturers to review its finish. 

     “We are proud to share that we have initiated our EUA submission for authorization for our COVID-19 vaccine for young children,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna. “We believe mRNA-1273 will be able to safely protect these children against SARS-CoV-2, which is so important in our continued fight against COVID-19 and will be especially welcomed by parents and caregivers,” states the Moderna Files for Authorization. 

       Moderna has been conducting clinical trials on vaccines in young children. In late March, Moderna announced the results of injecting 4,200 children ages 2 through 5. The company stated, “two 25-microgram doses of its vaccine led to a similar immune response in young children as two 100-microgram doses for adults ages 18 to 25.”

      Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that the FDA is weighing whether to consider emergency use authorization for both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines for young children at the same time, rather than considering them separately, CNN states. 

      Teachers and students have voiced their opinion on the matter. Junior Matthew Chaney says, “We already vaccinate kids for a lot of things so I don’t really see the issue in adding one more.” Social studies teacher Melissa Winter, who has three children of her own, has said, “I personally want more testing done on vaccines, especially the ones for children. My children aren’t vaccinated because I’m still not sure about the long term effects it has.”

      Spanish teacher, Mary Capellan shares, “I was thankful that my kids were over 5 so they could get the vaccine. I had no idea that there still wasn’t a vaccine available for younger children.”

      Dr. Paul Burton, chief medical officer of Moderna stated that the vaccines were, “very safe for this age group.” He continues to say, “The most common reactions were pain at the injection site and fever. There were no cases of heart inflammation, or myocarditis, in the study.”

      Moderna also states that they will investigate the potential for boosters in children if they are needed in the fall.