COVID-19 vaccine tested on children in Moderna

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Story by: Norvisi Eyiram Mawunyegah.

Date : 24th March 2021

Syringes filled of Moderna’s COVID vaccine are spotted at a drive-through vaccination site in Texas. Moderna Inc said it has startedtransporting experimental doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to children partly a study program toknow if safe and active in children even sixmonths old.

The exercise focus about 6,750 volunteers in the US and Canada. The US’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority are collaborating with the company, Moderna mentions. The vaccination exercise comes in three in stages. the first stage of the trial, researchers will test various doses of vaccine to see which works best. Phase three focuses on larger group of population. Study participants of ages of 2 and 11 will receive either 50 or 100 micrograms per dose, while those ages six months to just under 24 months will get 25, 50 or 100 micrograms per dose. It would be given twice ,28 days apart. Data analysis would be made afterwards from the first phase to determine which doses to give to children and toddlers in the second phase of the study. In that part of the study, participants will be randomly assigned to receive either the vaccine,saline, or placebo. Then they will be tracked for a year to see whether the vaccine works better than the placebo.

“This pediatric study will help us assess the potential safety and immunogenicity of our COVID-19 vaccine in this younger age population,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said.

The study team will also examine the immune response of children in the trial and compare it to that of adults. If the children generate enough antibodies compared with adults, the researchers will take that as evidence of vaccine effectiveness.

Pfizer and BioNTech are currently testing their COVID-19 vaccine on children under 12. Their initial clinical trial included 16 and 17-year-olds, it is the only currently authorized the vaccine use in the US. Johnson& Johnson plans to test both single and two-dose regimens of its vaccine in children ages 12 to 17, according to the Food and Drug Administration.