Washington (AFP)

Moderna announced on Monday that it had filed for authorization for its vaccine against Covid-19 in adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the European Union and in Canada.

The applications have been filed with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and Health Canada.

Moderna's vaccine is currently only authorized for people 18 years of age and over.

A first vaccine, that of the Pfizer / BioNTech alliance, was authorized at the end of May for adolescents from 12 years old in the 27 countries of the European Union.

Pfizer's vaccine is also already authorized for this age group in Canada.

Moderna announced at the end of May the full results of clinical trials on more than 3,700 participants aged 12 to 17 in the United States.

"In this study, no case of Covid-19 was observed in participants who received the two doses of Moderna's vaccine against Covid-19", i.e. an efficacy of "100% using the same definition of a cases "only for adults, the US biotech company said in a statement on Monday.

After one dose, 93% efficacy was observed, the company said.

The few cases that started in adolescents between the first and second doses were "mild," she added.

"We are encouraged that Moderna's vaccine against Covid-19 has been shown to be highly effective in preventing Covid-19 in adolescents," Moderna boss Stéphane Bancel said on Monday, quoted in the press release.

The vaccine has been "generally well tolerated", with "no safety concerns identified so far," Moderna said.

The side effects observed were similar to those observed in adults (pain at the site of the injection, fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, chills, etc.).

The company "also plans to apply for emergency use authorization from the United States Drugs Agency (FDA) to extend the authorization to use its vaccine to adolescents" in the United States, Moderna said.

Adolescents generally develop less severe forms of Covid-19 than older people, but they are not immune to infection and participate in the transmission of the virus within the population.

This is why their immunization is necessary in order to stop the epidemic, according to experts.

Moderna also began trials of its vaccine in children aged 6 months to 11 years in March.

Moderna's vaccine, like that from Pfizer / BioNTech, uses messenger RNA technology.

© 2021 AFP