Moderna seeks EU vaccine approval for children aged 12 to 17

·2-min read
<p>A nurse preparing the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine</p> (PA Wire)

A nurse preparing the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

(PA Wire)

US pharmaceutical firm Moderna has asked the EU to approve its vaccine for children aged 12 to 17.

The firm, which is supplying millions of doses to the UK, has said its jab is highly effective for adolescents aged 12 to 17 and has no serious safety concerns.

It comes after the UK regulator the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for children aged 12 to 15.

Moderna, which has a contract to supply 17 million doses to the UK in a two-dose schedule, has carried out clinical trials in the US involving more than 3,700 youngsters.

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In May, the company announced that no cases of Covid-19 were found in adolescents given two doses of the jab, giving a vaccine efficacy of 100 per cent.

When the company looked for milder cases of Covid-19 after just the first dose, the vaccine was shown to be 93 per cent effective.

It comes as Covid-19 case rates are rising in more local areas of the UK than at any point since early January, with numbers increasing in almost all parts of north-west England, London and Scotland, new analysis shows.

The figures come as Health Secretary Matt Hancock indicated ministers at Westminster were open to delaying the easing of restrictions in England scheduled for June 21, while the Scottish Government has paused a relaxing of rules in parts of central Scotland.

The rise in rates has yet to be mirrored by a steady increase in Covid-19 hospital cases, however, with the latest data showing patient numbers have climbed slightly to levels last seen at the end of May.

Nearly three-quarters of local areas of the UK (283 out of 380) recorded a week-on-week rise in Covid-19 case rates for the seven days to June 2.

This is the highest proportion since January 6.

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