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.