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Moderna requests FDA approval to lower vaccine age limit to 12 years old

Lowering the age for vaccinations would likely result in more adolescents getting vaccinated.

Updated: June 10, 2021 - 3:03pm

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Drugmaker Moderna filed a request Thursday with the Food and Drug Administration to lower to 12 the minimum age to receive it COVID-19 vaccination. 

The request is expected to be approved and increase the number teens getting vaccinated, with the adult participation rate in the U.S flatting and now at roughly 63%. 

Pfizer has already received approval to lower the age for its vaccine. 

In a trial phase among high school and middle school students, the Moderna vaccine was successful and presented no dangerous side effects. In the trial, 3,700 students were enrolled, and 2,500 received the vaccine, with the 1,200 others receiving a placebo. Of the 2,500 who received the vaccine, zero cases of COVID occured, compared to four in the placebo group.

On Tuesday, Moderna requested the FDA grant it full approval for the vaccine in recipient 18 and older, which could make it easier for the military and government agencies to demand their employees be vaccinated. Recently, the military faced resistance when soldiers refused the vaccination. 

The FDA took about one month to approve the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents and is expected to take the same amount of time for Moderna's. Last month, Moderna began testing the vaccine of children as young as 6 months.

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