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European agency is 1st to approve Moderna jab for children

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A medical worker from Parrish Medical Center holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a drive through vaccination clinic for employees of Port Canaveral, workers at local hotels and restaurants, and residents of the Port Canaveral community.

Paul Hennessy | LightRocket | Getty Images

The European Medicines Agency has recommended approving Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 17, the first time the shot has been authorized for people under 18.

In a decision on Friday, the EU drug regulator said research in more than 3,700 children aged 12 to 17 showed that the Moderna vaccine — already given the OK for adults across Europe — produced a comparable antibody response.

Until now, the vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech has been the only option for children in North America and Europe.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently considering whether to extend the use of the Moderna vaccine for children under 18.

With global vaccine supplies still tight, much of the world still is struggling to immunize adults. U.S. and European regulators do caution that both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines appear linked to an extremely rare reaction in teens and young adults — chest pain and heart inflammation.


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