Chile Approves Sinovac Vaccine for Children as Young as Six
(Bloomberg) -- The Chilean government approved Sinovac Biotech Ltd’s coronavirus vaccine for use on children six-years-old and higher, as the country advances one of the most advanced vaccination programs in the world.
A panel of experts at Chile’s Institute of Public Health approved the measure with five experts in favor of the use for kids over six, according to its website. Two experts voted to only give approval for children 12 and older while a final expert voted against any approval, saying that there still wasn’t enough available data.
Previously, only Pfizer Inc. had obtained approval in Chile to use its vaccine on people 12 to 17 years old.
“We will plan to start vaccinating those younger than 12 sometime in September,” Health undersecretary Paula Daza said.
A study published in the Lancet in June said that the Sinovac vaccine was safe and effective in children as young as three years old. Chile has already been using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on young adults and has also begun to give booster shots to the elderly and people with underlying conditions.
Chile has administered some 29.4 million vaccines, enough to fully vaccinate 71.9% of its population, according to Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker. That ranks in the top 15 countries globally. The number of active cases in Chile has fallen to 3,235 from a peak of about 79,000 in June.
Sinovac, which has proven to be less effective than more costly mRNA vaccines to prevent infection, represents about two-thirds of the vaccines used in Chile.
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