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
- COVID source shout-out: The CDD vaccinations pageSince early January, the COVID-19 Data Dispatch has maintained a page of detailed annotations on all the major sources for vaccination data in the U.S. This includes government sources (the CDC, all 50 states, and D.C.), along with a few notable news publications and independent dashboards. The page is now switching to an every-other-week update schedule from every week.
- Featured sources, June 13Featured sources for the week of June 13 include vaccine distribution by Congressional districts, fiscal accountability for COVID-19 responses, and risk levels for kids.
- 25 million doses is a drop in the global vaccination bucketOn Thursday, the Biden administration made a big (and long-awaited) announcement: the federal government is sending 25 million vaccine doses from America’s stockpile to other countries.25 million doses—or even the 80 million doses that the administration has promised by the end of this month—is a drop in the bucket compared to actual international needs. For example: COVAX needs 1.8 billion doses to vaccinate about half the adult population in low-income countries. COVAX has specifically prioritized 92 low-income nations, representing a total population of 3.8 billion.
- Moderna for the middle childrenGood news for kids hoping for jabs in arms: 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.
- Why did the CDC change its breakthrough case reporting?Earlier this month, the CDC made a pretty significant change in how it tracks breakthrough cases. Instead of reporting all cases, the agency is only investigating and collecting data on those cases that result in hospitalizations or deaths. Here’s what this decision means, and why I’m calling it a lazy move.