Moderna plans to submit clinical data to Health Canada this fall and ask that its vaccine be approved for use in children age six to 12.
The pharmaceutical company’s CEO Stéphane Bancel outlined his plans to make the vaccine available to children during a news conference on Tuesday. During which he announced Moderna would build a production facility in Canada.
Children 12 and up are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in Canada, but kids 11 and under have no immunization options. That has some parents worried as students across the country prepare to head back to in-person class in September.
Bancel said Moderna is studying the efficacy of its vaccine in kids age six to 12 and separately studying if it can work for children age six months to five years.
Children may end up receiving a smaller dose of COVID-19 vaccine than adults because of their lower body weight — but the vaccine product will be the same.
“We have to wait for the data to make an informed decision on what is the right dose,” Bancel said.
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He anticipates Moderna’s data for older children will be ready for submission in early fall 2021.
The company has already asked Health Canada to approve its vaccine for youth ages 12 to 17, but the federal body has not yet decided. Pfizer is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for use on teens 17 and under.