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Moderna Set On Trials Of Their Vaccine For Younger Children

The United States is in a dilemma. While there is a greater need for more vaccination among Americans, periodic reports of potential side effects of vaccines keep undermining the confidence of Americans in the vaccines. There were repeated issues with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and then the Pfizer vaccine came under scrutiny for reportedly being only 39% effective. Then came a new observation that people vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines were at risk to a rare side effect of heart inflammation and that the food and Drug Administration (FDA) had added this risk to potential risks on the labels of both the vaccines of Moderna and Pfizer.

Health experts and scientists are stressing the need to get more children vaccinated if herd immunity is to be achieved. Pfizer has got approval for vaccinating children from the ages of 12 to 15 years. Now Moderna has started trials since March 2021 and will cover 3000 children in the age group of 5 to 11 years in order to watch for any possible side effects. 

Moderna Set On Trials Of Their Vaccine For Younger Children

The threat of the risk of myocarditis which is a rare disorder of inflammation of the heart muscles and pericarditis which is also a rare disorder of inflammation of heart tissues. So far, health officials have detected 1200 such cases. So far there have been 12.6 cases per million Americans who have received either the Pfizer and the Moderna doses. Health officials, however, are of the opinion that the benefits of vaccination still have more weight over the minor percentage of these side effects.        

Moderna is hopeful that, with successful trial results, they will receive authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by early 2022 to vaccinate children. The New York Times, however, reported that the FDA had asked Moderna to double the number of children for trial to 3000. 

Moderna Set On Trials Of Their Vaccine For Younger Children

Meanwhile, there is a growing need for fully vaccinated people to also wear masks. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Medical Advisor to the white house, asked even Fully vaccinated Americans to resume wearing masks in public places and confirmed that this would be followed as an advisory by the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

Moderna is anxious to minimize the side effects of their vaccine and is engaged in research on transformative medicines based on mRNA (Messenger ribonucleic acid). The objective of this research is to minimize the unwanted activation of the immune system by mRNA, and instead, increase the potency of mRNA once inside human cells. The research has progressed into 21 fields, of which 10 have entered the advanced stage of clinical trials. Its vaccine development programs span areas as wide as cancer immunization, prophylactic immunization, intratumoral immune-oncology and covers the areas of cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases and rare genetic diseases. Moderna officials are confident they will be able to modify their virus to eliminate serious side effects.   

The Moderna vaccine, codenamed mRNA – 1273, is marketed under the brand name spike vax. This Moderna covid vaccine was jointly developed along with the United States National Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases (NIAID) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). This jointly developed Moderna vaccine is authorized for use in 53 countries that include Canada, India, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, Japan and South Korea. A study was conducted by the CDC between December 2020 up to March 20201. 4000 vaccinated persons were randomly chosen and the Moderna virus was found to have 80% efficacy after the first dose and 90% efficacy after the second dose. 

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It may be recalled that the CDC had earlier detected 2.5 cases per million vaccinated people to develop an allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. And then the new reported side effects of myocarditis and pericarditis. 

All eyes shall now be focussed on the result of the trials on the 3000 children which will decide whether Moderna can go ahead with vaccination of children up to 5 years of age.         

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