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Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine 96 percent effective in teens

Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine 96 percent effective in teens
© Greg Nash

Moderna on Thursday released the results of its COVID-19 vaccine trials for those aged 12 to 17, reporting it 96 percent effective against the virus. 

The vaccine manufacturer said its trial, involving 3,235 participants, recorded 12 COVID-19 cases that emerged beginning 14 days after the first dose. The company said it had not identified any serious safety concerns to date. 

The results of the adolescent trial come as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to give emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be used among 12- to 15-year-olds in the coming days.

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Pfizer and BioNTech found their vaccine to be 100 percent effective among the 12-15 age group in research released last month.  

Unlike Moderna’s vaccine, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine already has FDA emergency approval to be given to 16- and 17-year-olds. Both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines can only be given to those who are at least 18.

But the manufacturers have been taking steps to get emergency approval for children and teenagers. Moderna declared that it started testing the shots on children aged six months to 12 years last month and said on Thursday that study is ongoing.  

This week, Pfizer told reporters that it expects to have finished studies on children aged 2 to 11 and apply for emergency use authorization in September. 

Moderna published the results of its adolescent trial along with its first quarter earnings report, in which the company said it had its first profitable quarter.   

The vaccine manufacturer documented $1.7 billion in revenue from product sales with a net income of $1.2 billion. Last year, Moderna reported a $124 million net loss during the quarter.