The CDC recommends the Moderna vaccine as an option for children and teens ages 6 to 17.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday recommended the use of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine for children and teens ages 6 to 17.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, signed the commission’s recommendation less than a week after it approved Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for even young children..

“We have expanded the options available to families by recommending a second safe and effective vaccine for children aged 6 to 17,” she said. “Vaccinating this age group can give families more confidence that their children and teens involved in childcare, school and other activities will have a lower risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19.”

CDC scientific advisors on Thursday concluded that the benefits of the Moderna vaccine outweighed the potential risks and recommended two doses of the vaccine for children and adolescents.

The approval was neither a surprise nor an urgent expectation. Food and Drug Administration authorized Moderna vaccine for this age group at the end of last weekand the decisions of the two agencies rarely contradicted each other.

This recommendation was one of the last obstacles to making the second version of the vaccine available to a large number of people under the age of 18. end of 2020.

The Moderna vaccine was approved for adults in December 2020. Last June, the company applied for its vaccine to be used in adolescents aged 12 to 17, who will receive 100 mcg, the same dose as adults. But while it took the FDA about a month to sign Pfizer’s application for older children, it stalled Moderna’s application.

In an October announcement, Moderna said the FDA viewing reports this suggests that his vaccine may cause heart problems in teenage boys. The company also said it will delay filing for a permit for children aged 6 to 11 until the FDA makes a decision for older children.

In May, Moderna filed an FDA application for children aged 6 to 11 who were to receive 50 micrograms, or half the adult dose.

At a two-day meeting last week, FDA advisers first approved Modern vaccine for children 6 to 17 years of age, and then use of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children over 6 months old.

Late last week CDC advisory meetings are a priority urgent need for vaccines for the youngest childrenpostponing a decision on the Moderna vaccine for older children until this week.

At a meeting on Thursday, committee members data were presented indicating that the Moderna vaccine is about 80 percent effective against symptomatic infection in children aged 6 to 11 and about 90 percent in adolescents aged 12 to 17. But all of this data was collected before the arrival of the Omicron variant, which has shown some ability to evade immunity.

“We know that Covid can cause severe illness and death in children and adolescents, including those without underlying medical conditions,” the doctor said. Sarah Oliver, a CDC scientist who provided some of the data.

“The benefits outweigh the risks for Covid-19 mRNA vaccines for all ages,” says Dr. Oliver said.

The CDC researchers said the current vaccine is generally safe. It carries a very small risk of transient heart problems in adolescent boys aged 12 to 17, but a similar risk has been seen with the Pfizer vaccine, according to Dr. K. Tom Shimabukuro, a CDC scientist who presented the data.

Several studies have shown that Covid itself carries a much higher risk of heart problems than any vaccine.

However, to minimize the risk of heart problems, CDC now recommends that for boys and men aged 12 to 39 years, the interval between doses is eight weeks.

Much of Thursday’s discussion focused on potential confusion for providers administering different vaccines at different doses for several different age groups.

There are no data on the usefulness of moderna boosters in children and adolescents, and the FDA has only approved the vaccine for primary doses. But that data is likely to be available by the time these children become eligible for Moderna booster shots, the CDC scientists said.