Good news for kids hoping for jabs in arms (which used to sound like an oxymoron before this spring): Moderna has announced promising results for its trial in adolescent-aged children. In around 4,000 adolescents, the vaccine proved to be 94.1% effective in preventing disease. No cases in the vaccinated group were found two weeks after the second shot, while 4 cases were found in the unvaccinated control group.
On Tuesday, May 25, Moderna showed in a clinical trial that its mRNA vaccine is safe and effective in people ages 12 to 17. The company will apply for FDA emergency use authorization in June. This follows the semi-recent authorization of the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine for the same age group, which happened at the end of March.
While children tend to have less severe complications from COVID-19 on the whole, serious illness is still quite possible. And even though rates across the country are falling due to more widespread vaccination, it’s still important that kids get vaccinated as herd immunity is not quite in our grasp yet.
The availability of another vaccine may help more people in this age group get protected; however, the rest of the world has nowhere near the access to vaccines that U.S. citizens over age 12 do right now. In April, health policy experts estimated that the United States might have an excess of up to 300,000 extra vaccines.
That being said, adolescents should still get vaccinated if it is available to them. This problem isn’t the fault of citizens wanting to get protection; it’s about the failures of governments and systems to provide vaccine equity.
More vaccine reporting
- Sources and updates, November 12Sources and updates for the week of November 12 include new vaccination data, a rapid test receiving FDA approval, treatment guidelines, and more.
- How is the CDC tracking the latest round of COVID-19 vaccines?Following the end of the federal public health emergency in May, the CDC has lost its authority to collect vaccination data from all state and local health agencies that keep immunization records. As a result, the CDC is no longer providing comprehensive vaccination numbers on its COVID-19 dashboards. But we still have some information about this year’s vaccination campaign, thanks to continued CDC efforts as well as reporting by other health agencies and research organizations.
- Sources and updates, October 8Sources and updates for the week of October 8 include new papers about booster shot uptake, at-home tests, and Long COVID symptoms.
- COVID source shout-out: Novavax’s booster is now availableThis week, the FDA authorized Novavax’s updated COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s why some people are excited to get Novavax’s vaccine this fall, as opposed to Pfizer’s or Moderna’s.
- COVID-19 vaccine issues: Stories from COVID-19 Data Dispatch readers across the U.S.Last week, I asked you, COVID-19 Data Dispatch readers, to send me your stories of challenges you experienced when trying to get this fall’s COVID-19 vaccines. I received 35 responses from readers across the country, demonstrating issues with insurance coverage, pharmacy logistics, and more.