Moderna is seeking to be the first to offer COVID-19 vaccine for the youngest American children, as it asked the Food and Drug Administration Thursday to clear low-dose shots for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
Frustrated families are waiting impatiently for a chance to protect the nation’s littlest kids as all around them people shed masks and other public health precautions — even though highly contagious coronavirus mutants continue to spread. Already about three-quarters of children of all ages show signs they’ve been infected at some point during the pandemic.
Moderna submitted data to the Food and Drug Administration that it hopes will prove two low-dose shots can protect children younger than 6 — although the effectiveness wasn’t nearly as high in kids tested during the omicron surge as earlier in the pandemic.
“There is an important unmet medical need here with these youngest kids,” Dr. Paul Burton, Moderna’s chief medical officer, told The Associated Press. Two kid-size shots “will safely protect them. I think it is likely that over time they will need additional doses. But we’re working on that.”
Moderna said two kid doses were about 40% to 50% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19, not a home run but for many parents, any protection would be better than none.