Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine shows 96% efficacy in teens

A worker readies syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Monday, March 29, 2021, at "Vaccine Fest," a 24-hour COVID-19 mass vaccination event in Metairie, La., just outside New Orleans, hosted by Ochsner Health System and the Jefferson Parish Government. Every adult in Louisiana over the age of 16 is now eligible to get vaccinated against the coronavirus as the state's expanded eligibility went into effect Monday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Gerald Herbert, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Moderna announced Thursday that its COVID-19 vaccine showed a 96% efficacy rate in teens.

The pharmaceutical and biotechnology company said its initial analysis of its “Phase 2/3 TeenCOVE” study of the vaccine (mRNA-1273) in adolescents ages 12 to 17 years showed the 96% vaccine efficacy against COVID-19. Moderna said the study also showed the vaccine was “generally well tolerated with no serious safety concerns identified to date.”

Moderna has a vaccine supply forecast of between 800 million and 1 billion doses this year, and plans to make additional investments to increase global supply for its vaccine to up to 3 billion doses in 2022.

“In the first quarter, the Moderna team delivered on its supply commitments to many governments and helped protect more than 100 million people. This accomplishment translated into our first profitable quarter in the company’s history, after 10 years of scientific innovation and several billion dollars invested to make our mRNA platform a reality,” said Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna, in a news release Thursday, May 6. “Based on these first quarter accomplishments and our current manufacturing scale-up trajectory, we were pleased to again increase our base plan for 2021 to 800 million doses. The Moderna team and our manufacturing partners are working hard to get as close to 1 billion doses in 2021 as we can. The feedback from governments around the world requesting high-efficacy mRNA vaccines and variant boosters is overwhelming. We are now actively engaged in discussions and agreements for 2022 with all of the governments we are currently supplying for 2021. On top of that, new partnerships, like COVAX, for up to 466 million doses in 2022 and discussions with new governments in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, make us believe that our total advance purchase agreements for 2022 should be higher than those in 2021.”

Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines had efficacy rates in their initial trials of roughly 94-95 %. The CDC reports as of April 5 that evidence from clinical trials shows the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in people who received two doses who had no evidence of being previously infected.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization for Moderna’s COVID vaccine back in December 2020. The vaccine is approved for individuals 18 years of age and older under -- Pfizer’s is approved for individuals 16 years and up. Moderna’s vaccine is administered as a two-dose series, one month apart, into the muscle.

The FDA is expected to authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 by next week.

Read more: FDA expected to OK Pfizer vaccine for teens within week

Read more: Canada authorizes Pfizer vaccine for age 12 and older

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About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.