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16 Mar, 2021 13:14

Moderna becomes first to start trialing Covid-19 jab on kids aged 6 months to 11 years

Moderna becomes first to start trialing Covid-19 jab on kids aged 6 months to 11 years

US pharmaceutical firm Moderna has commenced trials of its Covid-19 vaccine on kids ranging from just 6 months to 11 years old, the youngest so far to receive any Covid jab.

On Tuesday, Moderna announced it had given the first doses of its jab to children in the Phase 2/3 trial, called the KidCOVE study. The trial, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), intends to recruit 6,750 children, aged between 6 months and less than 12 years. 

In December, Moderna commenced a study of its coronavirus vaccine on adolescents, aged 12-17, with trial results expected in spring. This new study will be the first time any Covid-19 vaccine has been given to infants. 

In a statement, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel thanked the company’s partners for their support and said he was pleased to start the trial, which will involve the youngest age group so far to receive a Covid-19 jab. 

“It is humbling to know that 17.8 million adults in the US have received the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to date... This pediatric study will help us assess the potential safety and immunogenicity of our Covid-19 vaccine candidate in this important younger age population.” 

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The trial is an “age de-escalation” trial, meaning the vaccine will be given to older children first, and if it is shown to be safe it will be gradually given to younger kids. It is also a “dose escalation” study, which means researchers will increase the dose once they have established whether the jab has a positive safety profile in kids. The study, which will feature a placebo group, will take place in the US and Canada. 

The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine is one of the most widely used vaccines in the world, alongside the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs, and has proven to be effective against most virus variants in circulation.

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