The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Friday approved the use of the Moderna COVID vaccine for 12-17 year olds, which becomes the second vaccine to be authorized for adolescents in the 27 countries of the European Union.
The administration of the Spikevax (Moderna) vaccine for 12-17 year olds will be the same as for people 18 years and older, two injections into the muscles of the upper arm, four weeks apart.
“The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended to grant an extension of indication to the COVID-19 vaccine Spikevax (Moderna) to extend its use to children aged 12 to 17,” said the European regulator in a press release.
The effects of Spikevax, from the American biotech company Moderna, were studied in a study involving 3,732 children between the ages of 12 and 17.
This study showed that the serum produced an antibody response comparable in 12 to 17 year olds to that seen in young adults aged 18 to 25 years.
“These results allowed the CHMP to conclude that the effectiveness of Spikevax in 12 to 17 year olds is similar to that of adults,” concluded the agency, headquartered in Amsterdam.
The Pfizer-BioNTech alliance vaccine, using the same mRNA technology as the Moderna vaccine, had already been authorized as early as 12 years old in the United States, Canada and the 27 countries of the European Union.
Adolescents generally develop less severe forms of Covid-19 than older people, but they are not immune to infection and participate in the transmission of the virus within the population.
This is why their immunization is necessary in order to help stop the epidemic, according to experts.
Half of adults in Europe, or 200 million people, are vaccinated against Covid-19, the European Commission said Thursday.