Moderna Official: COVID Shot for Kids Protects Against Severe Infection, Hospitalization

Moderna’s chief medical officer on Sunday defended the pharmaceutical company’s COVID vaccine protection for very young children.

In an interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Paul Burton noted the vaccine awaiting approval by the Food and Drug Administration will provide 50% effectives in babies from 6 months to 2 years old, and 37% effective in children 2-5 years old.

“What does that really mean — the vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease, symptomatic COVID disease, about 10 weeks after the second dose of vaccine,” he said. “What it means for parents, for caregivers, is that if they give the Moderna vaccine to these little kids, they would basically cut in half the risk of that child getting symptomatic COVID.”

“When we look at vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization, that number is 89 [%] to 95%. So, that’s why I think we can be very reassured and very confident in this result,” he said.

“I think from the antibody levels that we also saw in this study, we can expect high protection against the important thing, which is hospitalization, even death,” he added.

“Omicron is not a mild disease. In kids, we see data from Hong Kong, the rates of admission of kids to pediatric intensive care units very high. What I think we can reassure parents, caregivers here is that if approved, this vaccine should be able to safely and effectively protect your kids, your youngest kids, against severe disease, hospitalization. That’s what counts.”

Burton added that by fall, the company believes it will have a booster that will protect against omicron and other variants.

“We are confident that by the fall of this year, we should have large amounts of that new booster vaccine that will protect against omicron and other variants and really protect Americans and people around the world as we go into fall of 2022,” he asserted.

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