Sinovac tests its covid-19 vaccine in children in South Africa

Sinovac tests its covid-19 vaccine in children in South Africa

A health worker prepares a dose of the CoronaVac vaccine, from the Chinese laboratory Sinovac, against covid-19 at a vaccination center in Santiago, on April 22, 2021 – AFP

Chinese pharmaceutical Sinovac started on Friday (10) a phase of testing with children and adolescents its vaccine against covid-19 in South Africa. The trials will be carried out in five countries.

The CoronaVac vaccine, which requires two doses, will be tested on 14,000 children and adolescents, aged between six months and 17 years, in Chile, Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines and South Africa.

Used in adults in more than 50 countries, the vaccine was recently authorized for minors in China, which has immunized millions of people between 3 and 17 years old.

About 2,000 South African children and teenagers will participate in the Chinese laboratory test together with the South African group Numolux.

More than a third of the population is under the age of 19 in South Africa, which has so far vaccinated only adults.

“In many cases, the illnesses are less severe in children, but they are still sensitive,” project director Sanet Aspinall told the press. And “they can transmit” the coronavirus, added Aspinall, who argued that the Chinese vaccine is safe and effective.

The American laboratories Pfizer and Moderna have recently completed tests in several countries with children of different age groups.

“Delaying the inclusion of children in covid-19 vaccine trials slows our ability to control the virus,” said the president of the South African Council for Medical Research, Glenda Gray, also present at the start of the trials.

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