Drugmaker Moderna said Thursday its COVID-19 vaccine was 96% effective in a study involving adolescents ages 12 to 17.
The Massachusetts company shared the results of the trial, which enrolled more than 3,000 adolescents and teens, in a first-quarter earnings report for investors.
Moderna will likely seek emergency approval of its vaccine for use in that age group, adding to options in the fight against the pandemic. Right now, the company’s version is approved for ages 18 and up.
Pfizer and BioNTech, makers of the other messenger-RNA vaccine in U.S. circulation, expect the Food and Drug Administration to approve their request for emergency-use authorization in ages 12 to 15 any day now.
Scientists want to vaccinate younger age groups because children and teenagers can spread the virus even if they often don’t get sick and die from it.
Adding them to the mix will bolster immunity levels in society, generally, as some eligible adults refuse to roll up their sleeves.