Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, signs off on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation for individuals 6 through 17 years of age.
On Friday, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky signed off on the primary series for the the Moderna vaccine, mRNA-1273, (Spikevax), after the ACIP recommended the vaccine for children in these age groups. This endorsement paves the way for the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to take effect and the vaccine to become available for individuals 6 through 17 years of age.
“It is critical that we protect our children and teens from the complications of severe COVID-19 disease,” Walensky said in a statement released on Friday. “Today, we have expanded the options available to families by recommending a second safe and effective vaccine for children ages 6 through 17 years. Vaccinating this age group can provide greater confidence to families that their children and adolescents participating in childcare, school, and other activities will have less risk for serious COVID-19 illness.”
This becomes the second COVID-19 vaccine available for this pediatric population in the United States. The first one was the Pfizer vaccine authorized.
The decisions by CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) make it possible for providers and families to choose between the 2 mRNA vaccines in the primary series.
Earlier in June, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) panel voted to recommend amending the EUA for the Moderna vaccine to include the administration of the primary series to children and adolescents 6 years through 17 years of age.
They voted twice splitting it to address younger children and then adolescents due to the different dosage in the vaccines. For the 6-11 year old group, they are using 50mcg for each dose, and for the 12-17 year old group, they are using 100mcg for each dose.
"We are thrilled that the FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorization of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for children and adolescents, particularly for our vulnerable, youngest children," Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel, said in a statement at the time of the FDA’s vote. "Children need to live highly social lives to develop and flourish. With this authorization, caregivers for young children ages 6 months through 5 years of age finally have a way to safeguard against COVID risks in classroom and daycare settings. Our pediatric COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose regimen for all children 6 months and older, providing protection against COVID-19 two weeks after the second dose."
In the same statement, Moderna said their vaccine will be available for children and adolescents at select vaccination sites in the coming days.