The company has just announced that it is starting to test its mRNA vaccine on the 6 months – 11 years age group so that the vaccine for the youngest will already be ready to use if necessary.
The tests, divided into two phases, will involve healthy children from the United States and Canada. In the first phase, the company will test how participants respond to different doses of the vaccine. Children older than 2 years may receive either 50 or 100 micrograms of the vaccine in each dose, while younger children will receive 25, 50 or 100 micrograms – each child will get a total of two doses, spaced 28 days apart, which is exactly the same time as the adult vaccination. The first children vaccinated in a group will get the lowest dose so that the bodies’ reaction can be observed before subsequent children get a higher dose, or at least that’s according to The New York Times.
Once the first phase is complete, Moderna will proceed with internal analyses to determine the right dose for each age group. Children selected for the second phase of vaccination will receive either the dose indicated by experts after the analyses or a placebo shot. Participants will then be monitored throughout the year to track possible side effects, antibody levels and cases of Covid-19 infection. Based on antibody levels and incidence rates (the primary measure of protection will be antibody levels, but incidence rates will also be taken into account) between the vaccinated group and the placebo group, Moderna will recalculate the effectiveness of the vaccine in children.
We remind you that the Moderna mRNA-1273 product does not contain a virus and has no chance of causing Covid-19 because, as the name suggests, it is based on an mRNA molecule that, once in the human body, teaches cells to build part of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, specifically the so-called spike protein. The immune system is thus able to recognize this threat and take it as a target: -We are encouraged by the primary analyses of the Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273u adults over the age of 18. These pediatric studies will help us test the potential safety and efficacy of our vaccine candidate for a younger segment of the population, comments Stéphane Bancel, the company’s CEO. Moderna estimates that about 6750 children will participate in the study, and it is also worth recalling that the corporation is currently already conducting a test in a group of 3000 people in the age group of 12-17 years, which take place on the same basis. In short, the company wants to be prepared for a situation where a pandemic develops in such a way that children also need to be vaccinated.