Moderna launches trial of its Covid-19 vaccine in children under 12


Biotech company Moderna has announced that it has administered the first doses of its Covid-19 mRNA vaccine to young children in a new study to test the vaccine’s effectiveness in children.

Main facts

  • Called the KidCOVE study, it will be conducted in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and will test the vaccine on 6,750 children aged 6 months to 11 years.
  • This is an “age de-escalation” study, which means that older children will receive the vaccine first, and then, as its safety is demonstrated, it will be given to younger and younger children. .
  • This is also a “dose escalation” study, which means researchers will start with smaller doses of the vaccine and then move to normal adult doses once low doses are found to be safe.
  • A Moderna spokesperson says the trial is still recruiting participants across the United States and Canada.
  • In December, Moderna began clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine in adolescents aged 12 to 17; data from this trial are expected in the spring.

The context

Children do not often show severe symptoms of Covid-19, but some have been hospitalized and even died from the disease. A vaccine for children would also help contain the large increases in cases, as research has shown that children can pass the virus to family members.

Pfizer, the Covid-19 vaccine competitor, announced last month that it had started a trial of its Covid-19 vaccine in adolescents aged 12 to 15 (the vaccine is already approved for adolescents aged 16 and up), but the company has yet to say anything about dosing younger children.

Important quote

“We anticipate that high school students will most likely be able to get vaccinated… in early fall,” said Dr Anthony Fauci, whose team worked closely with Moderna throughout vaccine development, on CBS la last week. “Primary school children can probably be vaccinated by the very first quarter of 2022.”

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