The two-dose Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has received a recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for use in children ages 6 and above.
All 15 voting members of the public health agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted in favor of the Moderna vaccine for kids, CNN reported Thursday.
They agreed that the two-dose vaccine should be recommended for children ages 6 through 11 and adolescents ages 12 through 17, in line with the emergency use authorization issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week.
The committee decided after examining the details of Moderna’s application to the FDA and the latest safety data concerning the vaccine.
During a presentation, CDC’s Dr. Sara Oliver pointed out that over 5.1 million kids ages 5 through 11 contracted SARS-CoV-2 amid the pandemic. Meanwhile, adolescents ages 12 through 17 recorded a high hospitalization rate during the omicron surge.
These observations put emphasis on the need for children and teens to get vaccinated as the global health crisis continues.
The committee members opted to vote in favor of the Moderna vaccine for kids despite the reported myocarditis risk of the Moderna vaccine for adults.
The CDC said that while the risk of developing myocarditis “may be higher” than Pfizer’s vaccine, there is limited knowledge on how the condition affects the younger age group considering that the data available is observational and insufficient.
“There is a risk of myocarditis/pericarditis after both messenger RNA Covid-19 vaccines, most cases have [a] prompt improvement in symptoms. A follow-up survey suggests most fully recovered from myocarditis,” said Dr. Keipp Talbot during ACIP’s discussion of the vaccine.
The associate professor of medicine from Vanderbilt University noted that compared to myocarditis developed after battling a COVID-19 infection, myocarditis after vaccination has been generally mild.
In its report, Moderna indicated that the children who received their vaccine during the trial did not develop myocarditis and other serious side effects.
“In general, most adverse events reported after COVID vaccines are mild and transient events like injection site and systemic reactions,” CDC’s Dr. Tom Shimabukuro said.
“We will continue to monitor the safety of these vaccines and we will continue to work with partners, both within the federal government and with health care providers and provider organizations to better understand these types of adverse events,” the deputy director of the agency’s H1N1 Vaccine Task Force added.