Early data shows Moderna coronavirus vaccine 96% effective in teens

Early data shows Moderna coronavirus vaccine 96% effective in teens
Credit: Belga

The efficacy rate of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine in adolescents aged 12 to 17 years proved to be 96%, according to early data from the trial on this age group.

The follow-up after 35 days found the vaccine was generally well-tolerated in teens, and no serious safety concerns were identified, a press release from Moderna on Thursday stated. 

"An initial analysis of 3,235 participants showed a vaccine efficacy rate of 96% in participants who received at least one injection. The analysis included 12 cases starting 14 days after the first dose and based on the United States' Centre for Disease Control and Prevention's definition of the coronavirus," the statement read.

It added that, because the incidence rate of Covid-19 is lower in adolescents, the case definition is less strict than that for the trials of adults, resulting in vaccine efficacy against milder cases of the virus.

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Moderna added that it is continuing to collect data as part of this trial on teens and that it is in discussions with regulators about a potential amendment to its regulatory filings for its coronavirus vaccine.

It added that the trial study on its vaccine for children ages six months to 11 years old is ongoing.

Belgium could be vaccinating people aged 16 and 17 during the summer holidays if the vaccination campaign goes ahead as planned, according to a proposal by the Vaccination Task Force. The Pfizer vaccine has already been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for this age group.

Increase in production and efficacy against strains

Moderna added that it is working to increase the number of coronavirus vaccines produced by the end of this year to 1 billion doses (its previous goal was to produce 800 million) and that it is investing to increase its global supply of coronavirus vaccines to up to 3 billion doses in 2022.

Initial data also showed its booster shots improved people's immune responses against key coronavirus variants of concern, including the South African and Brazilian strains.

"We are encouraged by these new data, which reinforce our confidence that our booster strategy should be protective against these newly detected variants," said the company's CEO Stephane Bancel.

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