Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines
COVID-19 Booster Shot: Everything You Need To Know About Extra Moderna, Pfizer Vaccine Jabs Photo by Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna has asked the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, Apr. 28, to authorize the administering of the COVID-19 vaccine to kids aged 6-months to 5-years-old.

The COVID-19 jab was found to be 51% effective against infection from the Omicron variant for kids aged under 2-years-old. It was also found to be about 37% effective among 2- to 5-year-old kids per an official press release in a report from CNBC.

According to Dr. Paul Burton, Moderna’s chief medical officer, those levels are similar to two-dose protection for adults.

The request comes despite the decline in the protection provided by Moderna’s vaccines. From 90%, this has significantly declined.

The call comes amid concerns about the Omicron variant. The new strain reportedly has 30 mutations and is adept at evading the antibodies that block the virus from invading human cells.

Burton explains that by getting the Moderna vaccine, kids would be protected against severe illness. He adds that kids aged under 6-years-old who had received two doses should have better protection against the virus.

Adults have about 1,000 units of antibody after two shots with at least 70% protection against severe disease, while children in the study had 1,400 to 1,800 units of antibody after two doses according to Moderna’s chief medical officer.

“What we know is that those levels of antibody will translate into very high protection against severe disease and hospitalization,” Burton quipped.

Moderna has plans to develop a booster dose for kids aged below six with a redesigned shot that targets omicron as well as the original strain of the virus that emerged in Wuhan, China.

One of the reasons why vaccine effectiveness against infection has declined so steeply is alleged because the current shots are still targeting the Wuhan strain despite the virus already evolving dramatically since it was first discovered in late 2019.

Dr. Peter Marks, head of the FDA office responsible for vaccines, said to the Senate health committee that the drug regulator’s committee of independent advisors will meet to fully review the data.

Moderna shots
Moderna, "out of an abundance of caution," has ultimately decided to put on hold the lot and two adjacent ones, falling under three lot numbers 3004667, 3004734, and 3004956, with foreign substances confirmed in at least 39 vials. This is a representational image. Getty Images

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