Vaccine to adolescents: 'Lower dose of Moderna than Pfizer for 12-18 year olds'

Vaccine to adolescents, lower dosage of Moderna compared to Pfizer allows balance between fewer side effects and maximum efficacy. Allows the balance between fewer side effects and maximum effectiveness

This was stated by Professor Paolo Palma, head of the Clinical Immunology and Paediatric Vaccinology Unit at the Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome.

“The phase 2-3 trial of Moderna for 12-18 year olds involves a lower dose than Pfizer, because a balance has been found between fewer side effects and maximum efficacy and safety.

It is clear that vaccinology will move more and more towards a personalised vaccine intervention”.

So says Professor Paolo Palma, head of the Unit of Clinical Immunology and Paediatric Vaccinology at the Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome, who explains the results of the trial of the Moderna vaccine for children and young people aged 12 to 18 years, announced in recent hours by the American company.

Moderna and Pfizer vaccine trial in adolescents: results

We knew that Moderna was pursuing a regulatory approval process for this age group as well, as announced by immunologist Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,” says Palma.

“Moderna’s trial is on a larger number of subjects than Pfizer’s and has given excellent results.

This will allow us to maintain protection in paediatric age even for the rare serious cases, which unfortunately do exist.

The different dosage chosen by Moderna compared to Pfizer, whose vaccine for adolescents has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, is related to the trials and therefore there are preliminary data.

In fact, in the near future, efforts will be made to tailor the vaccine intervention by adapting the dose.

At present, Moderna has identified a lower dose, compared to the one applied by the company Pfizer, as a balance that guarantees the least side effects with maximum effectiveness and safety,” the expert explains.

The vaccination, in any case, “is all the more effective the younger the age group,” says the immunologist of the Bambino Gesù, “in principle, very young children respond even better than adults.

However, as Palma himself points out, ‘the personalisation of the vaccine intervention cannot be achieved with anti-Covid vaccines, also because to personalise the dosage there is a double channel to be considered: a trial on the population at risk and another on the population not at risk.

The amount of vaccine for a diabetic or transplant patient will be different than for a population of the same age group but without risk conditions’.

Moderna’s study on vaccinating adolescents speaks of “100% protection against the disease, but it is clear that if it had been applied to people with risk conditions the outcome would have been different”

This does not mean that the company has doped the data obtained,” Palma points out, “but has put itself in a position to obtain an optimal result.

In order to test the vaccine in adults, a small proportion of chronic patients was included, for example people with HIV.

In this connection, studies on vaccination for adult patients with risk conditions are about to be published, highlighting the cellular and overall antibody response.

It is not certain,” says Palma, “that a subject who has antibodies produced by the vaccine will not develop the disease, although none of these trial subjects has developed the disease in a serious way, as shown in the studies.

So the objective of containing the epidemic and making the virus endemic is nevertheless achieved,’ he concludes.

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