On the day that Gov. Tim Walz announced plans to remove COVID-related restrictions as Minnesota's vaccination program progresses, Moderna also announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is 96% effective for adolescents ages 12 to 17 years old.
Moderna's strong efficacy rate comes after a Phase 2 trial of the drug, putting the company just behind the pace of Pfizer, which is expected to receive permission from federal authorities to begin using its vaccine on 12-15 year olds.
Until federal authorization is approved, COVID-19 vaccines are only available for those aged 16 and older.
The Phase 2 Moderna trial, dubbed by the pharmaceutical company as the "TeenCOVE" study, had 3,235 participants, 12 of whom tested positive for the virus at least 14 days after receiving their first dose.
Side effects experienced by some of the participants included arm soreness after the first shot, along with headache, fatigue, myalgia and chills for some participants following the second injection.
Moderna is also working on a "KidCOVE" study that aims to provide a COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 11 years old.