More than half of all American adults have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the White House.
- The figure comes roughly six weeks before US President Biden’s July 4 goal of a 70 per cent inoculation rate
- People in the US as young as 12 can also now receive the Pfizer COVID-19 shot
- Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be effective in adolescents aged 12-17
It comes roughly six weeks before US President Biden’s July 4 goal of a 70 per cent inoculation rate.
The milestone comes as federal, state and local leaders press ahead with delivering COVID-19 shots to people who have not yet received them, while also battling vaccination hesitancy, fears and misinformation.
“Now, with another week left in May, half of all US adults are fully vaccinated,” White House senior COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt tweeted.
New coronavirus infections across the US have settled into a sustained decline as more people become vaccinated.
The number of new US infections fell to a seven-day average of 22,877 on Sunday, the lowest since June and less than one-tenth of its post-holiday peak of more than 250,000, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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A growing number of localities have announced further reopening efforts as the United States heads into its unofficial summer kick-off with the Memorial Day holiday this weekend. US travel is on the rise and, while masks are still required for interstate public transportation, many local mandates have been lifted. People in the US as young as 12 can also now receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID shot.
Pfizer shot available for 12-year-olds, Moderna found effective for teens
A growing number of localities have announced further reopening efforts as the United States heads into its unofficial summer kick-off with the Memorial Day holiday this weekend.
US travel is on the rise and, while masks are still required for interstate public transportation, many local mandates have been lifted.
People in the US as young as 12 can also now receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID shot.
Reuters: Shawn Rocco
It comes as Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was shown to be effective in adolescents aged 12-17 and showed no new or major safety problems in a clinical trial, the developer said.
The result potentially sets the stage for a second vaccine for school-aged children to be authorised in July.
COVID vaccine safety for children
Adolescents in North America are beginning to roll up their sleeves for the Pfizer vaccine after it was approved for 12- to 15-year-olds this month.
Moderna Inc, whose vaccine is authorised for adults 18 and older, said it would submit the findings of its adolescent study to the US Food and Drug Administration and other regulators for emergency use authorisation in early June.
US regulators took about a month to review a similar study from Pfizer/BioNtech, which was authorised for ages 12 to 15 on May 10.
If Moderna gets the same treatment, its authorisation would come in early July.
Most children with COVID-19 develop only mild symptoms or no symptoms.
Yet, children remain at risk of becoming seriously ill, and they can spread the virus.
Widely vaccinating 12 to 18-year olds could allow US schools and summer camps to relax masking and social distancing measures suggested by the CDC.
Moderna’s trial evaluated the vaccine in 3,732 adolescents aged 12 to 17. Two thirds got the vaccine and one third got a placebo.
The main goal was to produce an immune response on par with that seen in the company’s large, Phase 3 trial in adults, which was 94.1 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19.
Two weeks after the second dose, researchers found no cases of COVID-19 in the vaccine group compared to 4 cases in the placebo group, resulting in a vaccine efficacy of 100 per cent, based on case definitions from the company’s adult trial.
Using a case definition from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which requires only one COVID-19 symptom, the vaccine was found to be 93 per cent effective, suggesting the vaccine may be protective against cases with milder symptoms, the company said.
The researchers found no new safety issues. The most common side effects after the second dose were headache, fatigue, body aches and chills.
The company said it is still accumulating safety data. All study participants will be monitored for 12 months after their second dose to determine long-term protection and safety.