Children have now received their first doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, as the company studies the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for kids age 6 months to less than 12 years old.
In the study, researchers will give two injections 28 days apart of either the Moderna vaccine or a saline placebo to children. Kids who get the vaccine will receive one of three possible doses, from 25 micrograms up to 100 micrograms — the same dose that received an emergency authorization for use in adults from the Food and Drug Administration.
Moderna plans to enroll roughly 6,750 children in the U.S. and Canada for the study, which is taking place at sites in at least eight states, from Arizona and California to South Carolina and Texas.
Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is currently authorized only for people 18 and older. After kids who are in the study receive shots, researchers will be watching for any signs that they have difficulty tolerating the vaccine, as well as its effectiveness in protecting them against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
To monitor the vaccine's effects on children, doctors will check in with families through two telemedicine visits after each injection, followed by monthly check-ins. Parents will also be asked to make diary entries on their smartphones.