The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the Moderna Covid vaccine for use in children aged 6-11.
However before vaccination centres can start administering it in the age group, further advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is required.
All children aged 5-11 became eligible for Covid vaccination earlier this month and should receive two 10-microgram doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid jab at least 12 weeks apart.
Moderna’s Covid vaccine, known as Spikevax, received MHRA approval for over-18s in January last year, with this extended to 12-17-year-olds in August.
‘No important new side effects’ were seen in those aged 12-17 and the safety data for children was similar to those seen in young adults, the MHRA said.
MHRA chief executive Dr June Raine said: ‘We have in place a comprehensive surveillance strategy for monitoring the safety of all UK-approved Covid-19 vaccines and this surveillance includes those aged 6-11.
‘It is for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to advise in due course on whether 6-11s should be offered vaccination with the Covid-19 vaccine made by Moderna as part of the deployment programme.’
The vaccine product approval covers England, Wales and Scotland, while Northern Ireland was covered by a European Medicines Agency approval for use in the age group last month.
For the Covid spring booster campaign, eligible adults aged 18 years and over will be given the Moderna or Pfizer jab.
Last week, the MHRA also approved the Valneva inactivated Covid vaccine for the UK, for patients aged 18-50.
This story first appeared on our sister title, Pulse.