NORWOOD (CBS) – The CEO of Cambridge-based Moderna said Wednesday the company expects FDA approval of its COVID vaccine for children 12-17 years old is just weeks away.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said the company’s vaccine has a 96% efficacy for children 12-17 years old.

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“The safety profile is like what we saw for the adults, and we’re working with the FDA to get the vaccine authorized as soon as we can,” Bancel said, adding “We’re talking weeks; we’re not talking months.”

Bancel made the remarks at the Moderna lab in Norwood following a tour with Gov. Charlie Baker.

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“Safety is priority number one, and when the FDA will feel comfortable, we’ll get the vaccine authorized,” Bancel said.

Moderna is also testing the COVID vaccine in children six months to 11 years old.

“That study is going to take a few more months, because we have to go very slow down in age, to ensure the safety of children,” Bancel said. “And we’re also starting at a lower dose, because given the lower weight, we might need a lower dose for children. But for the teens, it’s going to be the exact same dose, which will help the distribution of the vaccine.”

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On Tuesday, Massachusetts surpassed 3 million people fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

CBSBoston.com Staff