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Moderna says interim data shows its vaccine produces immune response in young children

Sadie Sindland, 14, gives a thumbs up after being given a coronavirus vaccine dose by nurse Karen Pagliaro at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford on May 13. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images)
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Interim data shows that the Moderna coronavirus vaccine produces a strong immune response in children ages 6 to 11, the company announced Monday.

Data showed that the vaccine generated antibodies in children in that age group that were up to 1½ times as high as what has been seen in adults, the company said in a statement.

Stéphane Bancel, chief executive of Moderna, said the company is encouraged by the immune response and safety profile of the young cohort that was administered the vaccine.

“We look forward to filing with regulators globally and remain committed to doing our part to help end the COVID-19 pandemic with a vaccine for adults and children of all ages,” he said.

Meanwhile, Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, has expressed optimism that children 5 to 11 could start getting vaccinated against the coronavirus as soon as early November.

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is set to meet Tuesday to discuss a request from Pfizer and BioNTech to allow their lower-dose pediatric coronavirus vaccine to be administered to 5- to 11-year-olds.

The FDA’s decision will then be examined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fauci said Sunday on ABC News’s “This Week.”

“So, if all goes well . . . it’s entirely possible, if not very likely” that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be available to that age group “within the first week or two of November,” he said.

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Here’s what to know

  • The National Institutes of Health announced Monday that it is investing $70 million to help speed up the authorization process for new high-quality at-home coronavirus tests amid a shortage of such rapid tests in the United States.
  • Children under 18 do not have to show proof of coronavirus vaccination once the United States lifts a ban on international visitors but will be required to show proof of a negative test, according to new rules announced by the administration.
  • There were protests over vaccine mandates at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Sunday in support of Nets guard Kyrie Irving, who has been told by the team that he cannot “play or practice” with the Nets until he receives a coronavirus vaccine.
  • Some American expatriates unable to access coronavirus vaccines told The Washington Post they feel “left out of the equation.”