The UK’s medicines regulator has approved the Moderna Covid vaccine for children aged 12- to 17-years-old.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) confirmed today (17 August) that the vaccine is ‘safe and effective’ for the age group.
At the start of this month, NHS England instructed practices to begin vaccinating all 16- to 17-year-olds and 12- to 15-year-olds deemed to be at risk.
The MHRA today said that it is now down to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to advise on its use as part of the vaccine programme, alongside the Pfizer/BioNTech shot.
Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said: ‘I am pleased to confirm that that the Covid-19 vaccine made by Moderna has now been authorised in 12– to 17-year-olds. The vaccine is safe and effective in this age group.
‘We have in place a comprehensive safety surveillance strategy for monitoring the safety of all UK-approved Covid-19 vaccines and this surveillance will include the 12- to 17-year age group.’
This comes as GP practices were told to offer all 16- and 17-year-olds their first dose by next Monday (23 August), just weeks after getting the green light.
Further pressure was added when, last Friday (13 August), NSHE granted GP practices less than a week to run local searches to identify any children aged 12- to 15-years-old who are eligible for Covid vaccination.