FL teens could soon be eligible for Moderna vaccine if approved by health officials

Credit: Getty Images

Adolescents in Florida could soon have a second COVID-19 vaccine available, in addition to the Pfizer vaccine, as a Moderna study released Tuesday revealed that its vaccine is highly effective against COVID among kids aged 12 to 17.

Moderna announced that in its study, known as the TeenCOVE study, “no cases of COVID-19 were observed in participants who had received two doses” of the vaccine, according to a press release from the biotechnology company.

More than 3,700 participants ages 12 to 17 enrolled in the vaccine trial conducted in the United States. Though “no significant safety concerns have been identified” among young participants, the company said, the most common side effects after the second dose included headache, fatigue, myalgia and chills.

The company’s executive said the data will be sent to federal health officials next month in consideration of the vaccine to be given to kids as young as 12.

“It is particularly exciting to see that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine can prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection,” Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, said in a written statement.

“We will submit these results to the U.S. FDA and regulators globally in early June and request authorization. We remain committed to doing our part to help end the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Meanwhile, federal health regulators will have to consider whether to extend the Moderna vaccine for to tweens in middle and high school.

Many parents in Florida and around the county have been skeptical about allowing their kids to get the shots in arms, as previously reported by the Florida Phoenix.

In fact, a study conducted in late March by research company Invisibly found that 41 percent of parents planned to wait a few months before letting their kids take the shots.

Pfizer’s vaccine was approved by the FDA and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for students as young as 12 earlier in May. Currently, Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for people under 18.

As it stands now, Moderna requires two doses of the vaccine and has been available to people 18 years or older, according to the CDC.  The Johnson & Johnson requires only one shot, which has been authorized for use for adults only.