Moderna announced today it will ask regulators to authorise its Covid-19 vaccine in children younger than six years old, based on data showing it generated a similar immune response to adults in its clinical trial.
The Omicron variant of Covid-19 was predominant during Moderna's paediatric trial, and the drugmaker said two doses were around 38% effective in preventing infections in two to five-year olds, and 44% effective for children six months to under-two years old.
It said these figures were consistent with the lower effectiveness against Omicron seen in adults who had received two doses of its vaccine.
Moderna's vaccine could be the first authorised shot for children under the age of five in the United States, and many parents of young children have been waiting on a vaccine.
A rival shot made by Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech is authorised for use in children five years and older. Their trial results for two- to four-year olds showed a weaker immune response than in adults, forcing the trial to be extended to test a third dose. Results are expected in April.