South Africa starts a pediatric vaccine trial of Sinovac
The main phase of a global Covid vaccine study on children and teenagers led by Chinese maker Sinovac Biotech has been launched by South Africa.
The major study is launched to test the effectiveness of Sinovac’s two-dose CoronaVac on 14,000 children aged between six months and 17 years in Chile, Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines, and South Africa.
Whereas, usage of CoronaVac is permitted for use among adults in over 50 countries.
Recently China has cleared it for use in minors, where it has already been managed by millions of children aged three to 17.
South Africa, where inoculation has not yet been stretched to under-18s, kicked off the study with two teenagers vaccinated on the sunny campus of Pretoria’s Sefako Makgatho Health Science University.
Project director Sanet Aspinall told reporters at the event “We see a lot of milder and less severe disease in children, but they still remain susceptible”.
She further explained that the Chinese vaccine was safe to use “They are… getting the infection and they are then able to transmit it to the rest of the population”.
On the contrary, the US manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna have also accepted pediatric trials of their shots, encouraging several countries to greenlight them for children in wavering age groups.
South African Medical Research Council president Glenda Gray advised the country to follow suit.
“Delaying the inclusion of children in the Covid vaccine trials delays our ability to contain Covid-19,” she said.
On the other hand, over a third of South Africa’s populace is younger than 19.
The country has registered 2,000 applicants in the study, accepted out in association with Sinovac’s local partner Numolux Group.
Furthermore, Sinovac is also in talks about setting up a vaccine production facility in South Africa to deliver the region with shots against a range of diseases, Numolux executives said.
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