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Moderna announces its coronavirus vaccine is safe for young children, toddlers and babies

Its coronavirus vaccine works with 40 percent efficiency.

There's good news in the battle against COVID-19.

Vaccine maker Moderna released a statement on Wednesday announcing its two-dose pediatric coronavirus vaccine was safe in children six months to six years old.

The breakthrough may finally offer protection for a usually ignored group but its efficacy has been put in question due to the highly transmissible omicron variant.

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Good news for parents 

"We believe these latest results from the KidCOVE study are good news for parents of children under 6 years of age. We now have clinical data on the performance of our vaccine from infants six months of age through older adults," said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna.

"Given the need for a vaccine against COVID-19 in infants and young children we are working with the U.S. FDA and regulators globally to submit these data as soon as possible. Additionally, after consultation with the U.S. FDA we have initiated a submission for emergency use authorization of our COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 6 to 11 years old and are updating our submission to the FDA for emergency use authorization of mRNA-1273 in adolescents ages 12 to 17 years with additional follow-up data. We remain committed to helping to end the COVID-19 pandemic with a vaccine for children of all ages."

40 percent efficacy

In a trial of the vaccine, the shot was found to be successful at generating immune defenses equivalent to those that protected young adults before the emergence of the omicron virus. However, the shot did not perform as well in the face of omicron translating to a vaccine efficacy of about 40 percent with a slightly lower protection level in children younger than 2 years old.

Moderna has plans to submit its new data to the Food and Drug Administration in the next few weeks and file for emergency authorization in mid-April. Children younger than five are the last group not eligible for a vaccine. Pfizer previously released a vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11.

This is a breaking story and will be updated as information becomes available.

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