Moderna COVID shot could be used in U.S. children, teens within weeks, CEO says
28 October, 2021, 12:10 pm
Moderna Inc’s (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine could start to be used in children and teens in the United States within weeks, its chief executive said in an interview ahead of the Reuters Total Health conference, which will run virtually from Nov. 15-18.
Moderna CEO Staphane Bancel said based on dialogue with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, he believes his company’s COVID-19 vaccine will be authorized for 12- to 17-year-olds in the next few weeks.
“It’s entirely possible that this side of Christmas, 6 to 11 years of age would have access to Moderna’s vaccine,” Bancel told Reuters. [See link to all Reuters Total Health interviews here: https://reutersevents.com/events/healthcare/]
Moderna applied for U.S. authorization of its shot for those aged 12 to 17 in June. It published positive data from a clinical trial in children ages 6 to 11 this week, but has not yet submitted an application to regulators for that age group.
On Tuesday, a panel of advisers to the FDA backed the use of Pfizer’s shot in children ages 5 to 11. That still needs authorization from the FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Delta variant has contributed to a global spike in coronavirus cases in recent months, and several countries have begun administering vaccine booster shots to some people to help combat the surge.
Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and partner BioNTech SE received authorization for boosters for the same groups in September.
“I could see a world where from 2023 everyone ages 50 and above is boosting every year,” Bancel said. “It’s a population that drives hospitalizations and way too many deaths.”
Bance also said Moderna was engaged in a ‘good ongoing dialogue’ about long-term licensing of its COVID-19 vaccine to a South African vaccine manufacturing hub backed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO is working to get more COVID-19 vaccine to Africa to help improve developing countries’ access after rich nations bought up most of this year’s supply, leaving many nations with very low vaccination rates.
“We have been very clear that we will not be litigating (patent rights) during the pandemic,” Bancel said. “The question is do they want a license for long term and, as you know, discussing licensing has a lot of implications.”