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Moderna press release announcing that its TeenCOVE study of its COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents met its primary endpoint

This article was published on
May 25, 2021

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A press release from Moderna announces the TeenCOVE study of its COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents meets primary endpoint and plans to submit data to regulators in early June.

A press release from Moderna announces the TeenCOVE study of its COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents meets primary endpoint and plans to submit data to regulators in early June.

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Expert Comments: 

Prof Russell Viner

This is the second trial reporting data on the efficacy and headline safety of COVID-19 vaccines in teenagers.  These data, added to data on a similar number in the Pfizer trial of 12-16 year olds, show that mRNA vaccines are as immunogenic and effective in teenagers as they are in adults.  We need to see the actual data to confirm this however this is both encouraging and expected.

mRNA vaccines also appear to be broadly safe in teenagers, with both Moderna and Pfizer reporting no safety concerns.  Moderna report similar side-effects to adults including injection site pain, headache etc.  However these safety data are still on only relatively small numbers compared with the many millions of adults now vaccinated.

The FDA in the USA has already provided an emergency licence to Pfizer for use of its vaccine in 12-16 year olds and the MHRA [The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency] are considering the same.  Given the similarity of findings for Moderna, similar decisions are likely.

Having licensed vaccine for teenagers does not mean we should vaccinate them – and there are still a range of complex questions to consider about the benefits and risks of vaccinating the teenage population.  One group we should however proceed to vaccinate is teenagers who are highly clinically vulnerable and at greater risk of more serious disease.

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