Sept 23 (Reuters) – Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) said on Friday it has requested U.S. authorization for use of its Omicron-targeting COVID vaccine in adolescents and children.

The company is seeking emergency use authorization of its updated vaccine in two age groups – adolescents aged 12 to 17 years and children aged six to 11.

The application for the bivalent vaccine for children between the ages of six months and under six years is expected to be completed later this year, the company said in a tweet.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it expects COVID-19 vaccine boosters targeting circulating variants of the virus to be available for children aged 5-11 years by mid-October.

Moderna’s mRNA-1273.222, a bivalent booster shot, contains the dominant BA.4/BA.5 variants along with the original coronavirus strain.

The updated vaccine is already authorized for adults, while rival Pfizer’s (PFE.N) bivalent vaccine is authorized as a booster dose for children over 12 years of age. read more

The U.S. government has ordered more than 170 million updated vaccine booster shots for this fall, and said on Tuesday it had sent out over 25 million doses to be distributed.

Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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