Biotech company Moderna Inc. has started studying its Covid-19 vaccine in kids aged six (6) months to 11 years in the U.S. and Canada in order to test how effective the vaccine is in kids, the company announced on Tuesday.
Moderna Covid-19 vaccine trials in kids
According to a statement from the company Tuesday, the first group of children has been vaccinated in Moderna’s Phase 2/3 pediatric Covid-19 vaccine trial. Almost 6,750 kids in the US and Canada will enroll in the clinical trial, known as the KidCOVE study.
“We are glad to begin this Phase 2/3 study of mRNA-1273 in healthy children in the U.S. and Canada. This pediatric study will help us assess the potential safety and immunogenicity of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate in this important younger age population,” Moderna Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel said.
The majority of the Covid-19 vaccination campaigns in the U.S. have prioritized adults. Those who are more prone to diseases caused by the coronavirus than kids. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines are approved for use in adults 18 and above. Whereas Pfizer and BioNTech SE’s vaccines have the approval to use in people aged 16 and older.
The trial consists of two parts. In the first part, different dosages of the vaccine are being examined on the children. Kids aged 6 months to 1-year-old will get two doses of the vaccine at a 25 or a 50 or a 100 microgram stage. The time period between both vaccines would be around 28 days. Whereas, kids between 2 and 11 years will also get two doses at a 50 or a 100 microgram stage. Researchers will study the safety and immune reaction to the different doses. This way they will identify which one to continue in the second part of the trial.
According to Moderna, “They will determine the effectiveness of the vaccine in children either by using an immune-response marker known as a correlate of protection if one is determined. Or by comparing their immune responses to those seen in young adults.”
Furthermore, the study is taking place in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.