(Reuters) -Drugmaker Moderna Inc said on Monday it has submitted applications to the European and Canadian health regulators seeking authorization for the expanded use of its COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents.
The company said it plans to file for an emergency use authorization with the U.S. FDA and other regulatory agencies around the world for the vaccine’s use in adolescents aged 12 to 17.
Moderna’s vaccine is already being used in the United States, the European Union and Canada for people over 18 years of age and vaccinating children has been considered important for reaching herd immunity against the coronavirus.
Children with COVID-19 mostly develop only mild symptoms or no symptoms, but remain at risk of becoming seriously ill, and can spread the virus.
Vaccinating children has been thought to be crucial to help countries fully reopen schools and return to some semblance of normalcy.
The EU last month cleared Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children as young as 12.
Moderna’s two-shot vaccine last month was shown to be effective in adolescents aged 12-17 and showed no new or major safety problems in a clinical trial which evaluated the vaccine in 3,732 teenagers.
The company also said on Monday it has partnered with Israeli company Medison Pharma to commercialize Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in 20 markets across Central Eastern Europe and Israel.
(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)