FDA Panel Endorses Moderna's COVID Vaccine for Kids 6 to 17

If the FDA gives the official OK, there will be a second COVID-19 vaccine option for kids and teens.

Jessica Rendall Wellness Writer
Jessica is a writer on the Wellness team with a focus on health news. Before CNET, she worked in local journalism covering public health issues, business and music.
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Jessica Rendall
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At a meeting of scientists and other experts who give recommendations to the US Food and Drug Administration, committee members on Tuesday voted unanimously that Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine should be authorized for kids ages 6 through 17. 

The company's two-dose vaccine for kids 12 to 17 is the same strength as its adult vaccine, while Moderna's two-dose vaccine for children 6 to 11 is half the adult strength. 

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5 to 11 and teens 12 and older has been available for months, so a second COVID-19 vaccine for the same age group isn't likely to have a big impact -- assuming the FDA accepts its committee's vote. (After the FDA issues the official authorization, recommendations for vaccines usually go through the same vote-and-recommend process with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its committee.) 

In what's likely to be much bigger news for parents of babies, toddlers and preschoolers, the FDA committee is meeting Wednesday and will presumably vote on whether to authorize Pfizer's and/or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months. Pfizer has a three-dose series for children 6 months up to 5 years, and Moderna has a two-dose series for children 6 months up to 6 years. Both companies' vaccines for the youngest age group are a fraction of the size of the adult vaccine, and also smaller than the doses for older children.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30 a.m. PT/8:30 a.m. ET and will be streamed live on Youtube or the FDA's website. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.