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FDA Approves the Moderna Vaccine for Children 6 to 11 Years Old

FDA Approves the Moderna Vaccine for Children 6 to 11 Years Old

As the fight to end the pandemic continues, the FDA recently approved the emergency use of the Moderna vaccine for children 6 to 11 years old. Learn more about the latest update here.

Moderna Vaccine for Children 6 to 11 Years Old: the Latest Update

Philippine FDA Director General Rolando Enrique Domingo told the public before that with the threat of the Delta variant, they believe the Moderna vaccine’s benefits for children 12 to 17 years old outweigh the risk. Now, the FDA amends the recommendation and said that Moderna can now be given to children aged 6 to 11 years old.

However, the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) must still make a positive recommendation before the vaccine can be given to the children under this age group.

Before granting their approval for the Moderna vaccine for children 6 to 11 years old, the FDA has already allowed kids aged 5 to 11 to receive the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine.

What About the Other Vaccines?

As of now, the Food and Drug Administration is still contemplating using Sinovac for kids. This is after Sinovac submitted a request to include kids in their Emergency Use Authorization.

Interestingly, unlike Pfizer and Moderna, which only allow kids aged 5 to 6 and up, Sinovac says their jab can be administered to children as young as three years old.

Besides Sinovac, there are no talks about allowing Sputnik, Janssen, and AstraZeneca for children yet.

Just as Adults Experience Side Effects, Children Can Develop Them Too

While we consider kids as the “stronger” population, please remember that they can experience side effects too.

Reports say the Moderna vaccine for children may result in

  • pain in the injection site
  • muscle aches and pain
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • chills and other flu-like symptoms

Please keep in mind that side effects are common, and in most cases, they resolve within just a few days. Experts say side effects also indicate that the body recognizes and responds to the vaccine. However, should your child not experience any, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean that the vaccine isn’t working. It’s just that each person is different, so their response to a particular jab also varies.

Why Vaccination in Kids Matter

FDA’s approval for the Moderna vaccine for children is a huge step towards reaching herd immunity and normalcy.

When children receive their vaccines, that means they are better protected against COVID-19 and its notorious other variants — Delta and Omicron. Additionally, that indicates we are a step closer to allowing face-to-face classes without the fear of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Reminders About Kids and COVID-19 Vaccination

Parents, please remember that all approved vaccines are safe and effective against severe cases of COVID-19. If you worry about risks and side effects, talk to your child’s doctor first to discuss your concerns.

Finally, while we have the Moderna vaccine’s approval for children 6 to 11 years old, kids may not get their jabs earlier yet due to shortages in supply. The priority population generally covers medical frontliners, senior citizens, those with comorbidities, and essential workers.

For this reason, continue to be strict with standard health protocols. Don’t allow kids out unless it’s absolutely necessary, regularly disinfect surfaces and objects at home, and take steps to strengthen their immune system. When you go out of the house, practice physical distancing and wear your face mask and face shield. Finally, perform frequent handwashing.

Key Takeaways

The Philippine FDA approved the Moderna vaccine for children aged 6 to 11 years. Before this, they also allowed kids 5 to 11 to have the Pfizer-BioNtech jab. However, inadequate vaccine supply may delay vaccination in kids as the government prioritizes healthcare workers, the elderly, those with comorbidities, and those who work outside their homes.

Learn more about Health News here.

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Sources

Philippines approves emergency use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for 12-17 year olds https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/philippines-approves-emergency-use-modernas-covid-19-vaccine-12-17-year-olds-2021-09-03/, Accessed September 7, 2021

Philippines allows Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds, https://www.rappler.com/nation/philippines-allows-pfizer-covid-19-vaccine-12-15-year-olds, Accessed September 7, 2021

Moderna reports COVID-19 vaccine for teens safe, effective, https://www.aappublications.org/news/2021/05/06/moderna-covid-vaccine-teens-050621, Accessed September 7, 2021

UMassMed News Early data from TeenCOVE study shows Moderna COVID-19 vaccine effective, safe for ages 12-17, https://www.umassmed.edu/news/news-archives/2021/05/early-data-from-teencove-study-shows-moderna-covid-19-vaccine-effective-safe-for-ages-12-17/, Accessed September 7, 2021

Philippine FDA studying use of Sinovac vaccine on kids, https://www.rappler.com/nation/philippine-fda-studying-use-sinovac-vaccine-kids, Accessed September 7, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/adolescents.html, Accessed September 7, 2021

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated May 31
Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD