Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers similar immune response in teenagers as it does in adults, study finds, as company pushes to get shots approved for those aged 12-17
- A study found that Moderna’s vaccine generates the same antibody levels in teens as it does adults
- No severe adverse reactions were developed to the vaccine by any of the teens in the study
- Moderna hopes to have its vaccine’s authorization soon expanded by the FDA to include teens as well
- Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only one available to Americans between the ages of 12 and 17
Currently, the Moderna vaccine is only available to Americans aged 18 and older, though the company has asked the FDA to extend authorization to teenagers.
Researchers found similar antibody responses in teens when compared to adults.
The findings come as public health experts push to increase Covid vaccine availability amid the new school year.
None of the participants in the study who received the Moderna vaccine contracted COVID-19. The vaccine was found to be just as effective in teens as it is adults
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is believed to be safe and effective in teens after the results of a recent Clinical Research Institute study
For the study, published in the the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, the team included 3,732 teens aged 12 through 17.
Participants were split into two groups with 2,489 receiving the Moderna vaccine and 1,243 given a placebo.
Each participant was given two doses of the vaccine, or placebo, and tested for antibody levels two weeks after receiving the second dose.
Researchers also monitored participants for potential adverse effects to the vaccine.
No major adverse effects were found, though many suffered from regular side effects from the vaccine like redness around injection sire, fatigue and some low-grade fevers.
Two weeks after receiving the second dose, members of the vaccine group were considered fully vaccinated.
Moderna hopes to soon get authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine extended to teens aged 12 to 17
None of the fully vaccinated participants ended up testing positive for COVID-19 during the study.
Four members of the control group did contract the virus.
Blood tests were performed on the research group to determine if they were developing appropriate antibody levels.
Researchers found that teens who received the vaccine were, on average, developing similar responses to the vaccine as adults were.
The high antibody levels and lack of cases among the fully vaccinated lead researchers to believe the vaccine is safe and effective in teens.
‘The results from this trial involving adolescents extend the evidence of safety and efficacy of [the Moderna vaccine] previously reported in adults,’ the researchers wrote.
‘…the safety and reactogenicity of mRNA-1273 in adolescents was similar to that observed in adults between the ages of 18 and 64 years in the phase 3 COVE trial.
‘In addition, the vaccine efficacy in these adolescents was 93% according to the less stringent CDC case definition.’
The Moderna vaccine receiving expanded authorization could come at the perfect time, as schools begin to reopen across the country.
While teens aged 12 to 17 already can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, adding another jab to the arsenal could help facilitate getting more teens the shots.
Moderna’s vaccine has been administered 141 million times in the U.S., second only to the Pfizer’s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).