Moderna begins study of COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents

Coronavirus Vaccine

The Moderna headquarters is seen on November 30, 2020 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Moderna Inc said on Thursday it had dosed the first participant in a mid-to-late stage study testing its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in adolescents aged 12 to less than 18.

The study is being conducted in collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

“Our goal is to generate data in the spring of 2021 that will support the use of mRNA-1273 in adolescents in advance of the 2021 school year,” said Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel in Moderna’s statement.

The news comes as the United States prepares to begin distributing the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines from both Moderna and rival Pfizer/BioNTech to adults, upon regulatory nod for emergency use.

A panel of outside advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will meet on Thursday to discuss whether to recommend the use of Pfizer’s vaccine for people aged 16 and older.

A similar meeting of advisers to the FDA is scheduled for Dec. 17 to discuss Moderna’s vaccine.

Rival Pfizer is also studying its vaccine candidate in participants as young as 12.

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