Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine ‘highly effective’ in preventing illness in teens

By: Jayson Derrick
Jayson Derrick
Jayson lives in Montreal with his wife and daughter, loves watching hockey, and is on a lifelong quest to… read more.
on May 25, 2021
  • Shares of Moderna were trading higher by more than 2% Tuesday morning.
  • Moderna said a study of its vaccine among teens was 100% effective in preventing illness.
  • Moderna said it will request approval to vaccinate teens in the US and abroad.

Shares of COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) were trading higher by more than 2% Tuesday morning after announcing encouraging results from its TeenCOVE study.

Study results

Moderna said in a press release its Phase ⅔ study of its COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273) in adolescents met its primary immunogenicity endpoint. Specifically, there were zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 among participants who received two doses of the vaccine. In other words, the vaccine efficacy from the trial is 100% while a vaccine efficacy of 93% was recorded after the first dose.

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More than 3,700 teens aged 12 to 18 participated in the randomized study. The most common side effect was pain near the needle injection site and some participants experienced headaches, fatigue, myalgia, and chills after the second dose. Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel said in the press release:

We are encouraged that mRNA-1273 was highly effective at preventing COVID-19 in adolescents. It is particularly exciting to see that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine can prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Despite the completion of the study, Moderna said it will continue collecting safety data points and participants will be observed for another 12 months. The final results of the data will be presented to a peer-reviewed publication.

Next step for Moderna

Moderna said it will submit its study results to the U.S. FDA and other global regulators in the coming requests to request authorization. Currently, only Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) has the authorization to vaccinate people under 18 in the US and other countries, like Canada.

“We remain committed to doing our part to help end the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bancel also said.

The financial impact to Moderna from its successful study of teens was not disclosed in the press release. Shares of MRNA are up more than 45% since the start of 2021 and were trading at $167.80 Tuesday morning, roughly $20 per short of its 52-week high of $189.27.

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