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Moderna says its vaccine triggers immune response in teenagers, will seek FDA approval

As drug companies expand coronavirus vaccine access to children, officials are working to persuade people who are skeptical or unwilling to get vaccinated. (Video: Luis Velarde, Jonathan Baran, Erin Patrick O'Connor/The Washington Post, Photo: Erin Cox/The Washington Post)
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Biotechnology company Moderna announced Tuesday that its two-shot coronavirus vaccine produced the same immune response in teenagers as adults, and it plans to submit the data to U.S. regulators in early June.

If authorized, the vaccine would become the second available for adolescents as young as 12. Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine was authorized for that age group earlier this month.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The United States called Tuesday for the swift launch of a follow-up investigation into the origins of the pandemic, amid growing concerns over China’s lack of transparency about the early days of the outbreak.
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, speaking in a video message, urged an annual ministerial meeting of the World Health Organization to establish a second stage of the investigation that took place in the Chinese city of Wuhan earlier this year.
  • The source of the coronavirus that has left more than 3 million people dead around the world remains a mystery. But in recent months the idea that it emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology — once dismissed as a ridiculous conspiracy theory — has gained new credence. Here is a timeline of key events that have led to this reassessment.
  • Daily coronavirus cases continued to trend down in the United States, dropping about 23 percent over the past week. The rolling average for new daily cases was about 25,000, the lowest since last June.
  • Vaccine safety experts are studying a small number of cases of myocarditis, heart muscle inflammation, among young people who had recently received their second dose of one of the coronavirus vaccines. No formal link has been established.
  • U.S. air travel rebounded Sunday to the highest level of the pandemic era as the Transportation Security Administration continues to bolster staffing for the busy summer travel season set to kick off this weekend, federal aviation security officials said Tuesday.
  • The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee will send a delegation of athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Games this summer despite the State Department’s new advisory warning Americans against visiting Japan.
  • The two largest school systems in the United States, in New York City and Los Angeles, will fully reopen for in-person learning this fall, officials announced Monday, a major step in the country’s pandemic recovery.

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