1 of 5 | Moderna listed a few "mild or moderate" side effects in the child recipients in the study, including fatigue, headache and fever. File Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Just three days after a similar report from competitor Pfizer, Moderna said on Monday that smaller doses of its COVID-19 vaccine appear to be safe in young children and activate a strong immune response.
Moderna said late-stage testing of the coronavirus vaccine in children between 6 and 11 years old shows that the recipients produced antibody levels 1.5 times higher than that seen in young adults who'd received full-strength shots.
The company said its study included more than 4,700 children in the age range, some of whom received two doses of the vaccine a month apart. The child doses were about half the strength of the adult doses.
"We are encouraged by the immunogenicity and safety profile of [the vaccine] in children aged 6 to under 12 years and are pleased that the study met its primary immunogenicity endpoints," Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement.
"We look forward to filing with regulators globally and remain committed to doing our part to help end the COVID-19 pandemic with a vaccine for adults and children of all ages."
Moderna listed a few "mild or moderate" side effects in the child recipients, including fatigue, headache and fever.
Moderna said the children will be monitored for 12 months after the second injection to assess long-term protection and safety.
Last week, Pfizer said late-stage studies showed that a smaller dose of its vaccine was nearly 91% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in kids between 5 and 11.
Pfizer has requested emergency use authorization for the child doses, which would allow the company to begin distributing them nationwide.
The Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday to evaluate the request.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention granted emergency use authorization for booster doses of the Moderna vaccine for older and at-risk Americans.