Modern announced Wednesday that it expects to disclose results on the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 2 to 5 by March, and that it hopes to assess its booster injection for those aged 12 to 17 by the end of the year, as COVID-related hospitalizations for children have reached record highs.

"If the data is supportive and subject to regulatory consultation, Moderna may proceed with regulatory filings for children 2 to 5 years of age thereafter," the company said.Moderna's vaccine, which is based on the messenger RNA platform, has received approval in Europe, the U.K., Australia, and Canada for teenagers aged 12 to 17, as well as applications for children aged 6 to 11.

The vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. as a primary two-dose regimen and booster dosage for adults aged 18 and up. The company, however, has yet to receive regulatory approval for the use of its vaccine in children.

Only Pfizer's vaccine is approved for children aged 5 to 11, with the FDA yet to approve any COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 2 to 5

Pfizer has also been testing the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 2 to 5, as well as infants aged 6 months to 2 years. It disclosed in December that preliminary trials revealed that the vaccine did not provide the same level of immunity in children aged 2 to 5 as it does in older age groups, however it was effective in the 6- to 24-month age range.

The company stated that it would assess the efficiency of a third dose in order to achieve the required immunity in this group, as well as a third dose for children aged 5 to 12.

As of January 5, the CDC reported that 7 million children aged 5 to 11 have gotten at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, accounting for a quarter of all 5- to 11-year-olds in the United States.However, progress has been slow: since vaccines for that age range became accessible, the L.A. Times vaccine tracker shows that only 28% of eligible children in California have received at least one dosage, significantly behind the 75.4 percent overall state vaccination rate.

During the last week, hospitals saw an average of 870 new COVID-related pediatric admissions each day, the highest rate since the pandemic started.

Meanwhile, according to an emailed statement from Johnson & Johnson to the L.A. Times, Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials in teenagers aged 12 to 17 are underway. Meanwhile, the CDC advises that most eligible Americans choose one of the mRNA vaccines over the J&J shot.