Moderna files for U.S. authorization to use its COVID-19 vaccine in teens

FILE PHOTO: SOMOS Community Care administers Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at pop-up site in New York
A healthcare worker holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site operated by SOMOS Community Care during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 29, 2021.
REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

Moderna Inc said on Thursday it has filed for U.S. authorization to use its COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents aged 12 to 18, the latest company to seek approval to help expand the inoculation drive in the country.

Moderna’s vaccine is already being used in the United States, the European Union and Canada for anyone over 18. The drugmaker has already submitted applications to the European and Canadian health regulators seeking authorization for the vaccine’s use in adolescents.

Moderna’s two-shot vaccine last month was shown to be effective in adolescents aged 12-17 and showed no new or major safety problems in a clinical trial which evaluated the vaccine in 3,732 teenagers.

Vaccinating children has been considered key to achieving “herd immunity” and the U.S. has already authorized Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children as young as 12.