UK regulator approves Moderna COVID-19 shot for 12 to 17-year-olds

(FILES) In this file photo Registered Nurse Emily Enos loads the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine into a syringe ahead of the distribution of vaccines to seniors above the age of 65 who are experiencing homelessness at the Los Angeles Mission, in the Skid Row area of Downtown Los Angeles, California as the fight against the coronavirus pandemic continues. - The US will begin in mid-March a clinical trial of a version of Moderna's Covid vaccine specific to the South Africa variant, Anthony Fauci, the top advisor to the White House on the pandemic, said February 26, 2021. The Phase 1 trial will involve 210 people to study both the immune response generated by the vaccine and its safety, he said. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)
(FILE) In this file photo Registered Nurse Emily Enos loads the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe  (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)

The UK’s health regulator has approved Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 12 to 17 years, it said on Tuesday.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency(MHRA) announced on Tuesday that it was extending the permission for use of the vaccine, called Spikevax, after concluding it was safe for use.

It paves the way for the British government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to advise the vaccine can be used in teenagers as part of the wider vaccination programme using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use mRNA to deliver genetic instruction to cells in the body to create a copy of the COVID-19 spike protein. which then triggers an immune response and provides people with antibodies against the virus.

It does not alter a recipient’s DNA and is based on decades-old technology of using mRNA molecules contained in lipid fat droplets to deliver the active ingredient.

UK Regulator approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in 12 to 15-year-olds in June and earlier this month the JCVI advised the government it could be given to 16 and 17-year-olds.

All over 16s— All young people aged 16 to 17 in England will be offered a first does of a COVID-19 vaccine on August 23, the British Health and Social Secretary Sajid Javid announced Sunday.