CDC advisors recommend Modena vaccines for children aged 6 to 17 and teens.

Advisors to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday unanimously voted to recommend Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine to children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years.

Their support was neither surprising nor urgently expected. The Food and Drug Administration approved the Moderna vaccine for that age group late last week, and the decisions of the two agencies rarely conflicted.

This recommendation was one of the last hurdles before the second vaccine option became available to large numbers of people under the age of 18. Vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech have been available to children ages 5-15 and Americans ages 16 and up since last year. The second half of 2020.

The Moderna vaccine was approved for adults in December 2020. Last June, the company applied for the vaccine to adolescents aged 12 to 17 years who were given 100 micrograms, the same dose as adults. However, while the FDA took about a month to approve Pfizer’s application for older children, Moderna’s application was stalled.

In an October announcement, Moderna said the FDA is considering reports suggesting that the vaccine may cause heart problems in adolescent boys. The company also said it would postpone the application for approval of children aged 6 to 11 until the FDA made a decision for older children.

In May, Moderna submitted an application to the FDA for children aged 6 to 11 years who received a dose of 50 micrograms (half an adult).

At a two-day meeting that was carefully watched last week, FDA advisors first approved the Moderna vaccine for children aged 6 to 17 years, and then used both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for 6-month-old children. I approved that.

At a meeting on Thursday, committee members provided data showing that the Moderna vaccine is effective against symptomatic infections in about 80% of children aged 6 to 11 years and about 90% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years. It was presented. However, all that data was collected before the arrival of the Omicron mutants, which showed the ability to dodge immunity.

“We know that Covid can cause serious illness and death in children and adolescents, including those without the underlying disorder,” said a CDC scientist who presented some of the data. Dr. Sara Oliver said.

“There are benefits that outweigh the risks of the mRNA Covid-19 vaccine of all ages,” said Dr. Oliver.

CDC researchers said the Moderna vaccine is generally safe. According to Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, a CDC scientist who presented the data, the risk of transient heart problems in adolescent boys aged 12 to 17 is very small, but the Pfizer vaccine has a similar risk. Is being observed.

Some studies have shown that Covid itself has a much higher risk of heart problems than either vaccine.

Nevertheless, to minimize the risk of heart problems, the CDC currently recommends that boys and men between the ages of 12 and 39 have an eight-week interval.

Much of Thursday’s discussion focused on the potential confusion of providers who administer different vaccines at different doses to several different age groups.

There are no data on the usefulness of the Moderna vaccine booster shots for children and adolescents, and the FDA approved the vaccine only for the first dose. However, according to CDC scientists, these data are likely to be available by the time these children are targeted for Moderna booster shots.

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