The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has cleared the way for corona vaccinations for children between the ages of six and eleven with the vaccine from the US company Moderna. The responsible committee of the EMA recommended extending the approval of the Moderna vaccine Spikevax to this age group. So far, it has only been approved in the EU for children over the age of twelve. The final decision rests with the EU Commission. However, it is considered certain that this follows the EMA recommendation.
The Moderna vaccine for children contains half the dose of an adult dose and is injected twice into the upper arm, four weeks apart. The EMA estimates that the efficacy and safety of Spikevax in children is comparable to that in adults. The benefits outweigh the risks, especially in patients at risk of severe infections. Possible side effects include pain and redness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, nausea, fever or joint pain. However, a number of countries have restricted vaccinations with Moderna due to the rare risk of myocarditis. Since November, the Standing Vaccination Commission has only recommended Covid vaccinations for under 30-year-olds in Germany with the vaccine from Biontech.
Increasing proportion of vaccinated children
When the Moderna vaccine is released in the EU, there will be two approved vaccines against the corona virus for children aged six and over. At the end of November, the EMA had already approved the Covid-19 vaccine from BioNTech/Pfizer for use in children aged five to eleven. In Germany, the Standing Vaccination Commission only recommends this for children with previous illnesses. If you wish, children without previous illnesses can also be vaccinated after appropriate medical advice.
According to current information from the federal government, 1.1 million children in Germany have been vaccinated against Covid-19 at least once – that's more than 20 percent. Of these, 832,000 children have already been fully vaccinated. 2.8 million children aged 12 to 17 in Germany have already been fully vaccinated – that is almost two thirds in this age group.
The EMA has now also given the green light for the booster vaccinations of children from the age of twelve with the Corona vaccine from BioNTech/Pfizer. However, the authority emphasized that the EU member states themselves decide whether a booster vaccination should be offered to children. According to the EMA, the booster vaccination has a lower dose for children than for adults.
Billions in profit for Moderna
The success of the mRNA vaccines against the corona virus is not only leading to high sales at the Mainz-based company BioNTech, but also at the US competitor Moderna. The company posted net income of $4.9 billion in the final quarter of 2021 alone. For the full year, Moderna posted a $12.2 billion surplus. In the previous year, Moderna made a loss of $747 million due to high research and development costs. Overall, strong vaccine demand drove sales from $803 million in 2020 to $18.5 billion in 2021. For 2022, the company currently expects 19 billion dollars.