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EU backs approval of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in 12-17 year-olds

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine has received a positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) for use in adolescents aged 12 to 17 years of age.

Following the positive recommendation, the European Commission (EC) will consider authorising the use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents in this age group.

In June, Moderna revealed data from an ongoing Phase II/III study which enrolled 3,732 participants aged 12 to less than 18 years old in the US.

This trial met the primary endpoint, with the vaccine successfully bridging immune responses to those observed in an efficacy study in adults.

Following two doses of Moderna’s vaccine, no cases of COVID-19 were observed in the vaccine group using the case definition from the adult Phase III study, compared to four cases in the placebo group.

This resulted in a vaccine efficacy of 100%, starting 14 days after the second dose. The jab was also found to be generally well-tolerated in the adolescent study, with a safety and tolerability profile consistent with the Phase III adult study.

All participants in the adolescent vaccine study will be monitored for 12 months after their second injection to assess long-term efficacy and safety.

“The CHMP recommendation of the authorisation of our COVID-19 vaccine for use in individuals 12 years of age and older in the European Union is a positive step forward toward authorisation of our vaccine in this age group,” said Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna.

“As we help to combat the pandemic, we hope to be able to help get adolescents safely back to school this fall,” he added.