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Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine approved for children aged 12 to 17 in EU

DUBLIN: The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved the use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 17. This comes after a research of over 3,700 children aged 12 to 17 found that the Moderna vaccine produced a comparable antibody response.

The COVID-19 vaccine Spikevax (formerly COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna) was earlier approved for use in adults across the European Union, but it is now approved for use in children under the age of 18, making it the continent’s second jab for adolescents.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was the first to be authorised by the EMA for children as young as 12 years old.

The Moderna vaccine will be administered to children aged 12 to 17 in the same way as it is given to adults aged 18 and above. The vaccine will be given in two doses, four weeks apart.

In a study involving over 3,700 children aged 12 to 17, the vaccine showed immune protection. There were no COVID-19 diagnoses in the vaccinated group.

The most common side effects in young vaccine recipients were the same as in adults: sore arms, headache, and fatigue.

Following the EU drug regulator’s announcement, the US Food and Drug Administration said that it is now considering whether to extend the use of the Moderna vaccine to the same age cohort.

Both the US and EU regulators have issued warnings that both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines appeared to be associated to an extremely rare condition of chest pain and heart inflammation in teenagers and young adults.

Moderna, which has already administered hundreds of millions of doses to adults, claims that Jab is as effective in protecting adolescents. However, the EU watchdog said it would continue to examine the Moderna vaccine’s safety and efficacy in children.

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