China approved the emergency use of Sinovac vaccine for 3 to 17-year-olds.
On Friday, China had approved the emergency use of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine for three to 17-year-olds.
China had recently approved the emergency use of the said vaccine in people aged between 3 and 17, its chairman Yin Weidong told state TV late last June 4.
The mass vaccination drive in China, which administered 723.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses as of June 3, was currently only open to those aged 18 years old and above.
In an live interview Yin told state TV that when Sinovac’s vaccine will be offered to younger groups depend on health authorities formulating China’s vaccination strategies.
According to Yin, minors have lower priority for inoculation against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) compared with the elderly, who faced higher risk of severe coronavirus symptoms after infection.
Preliminary results from Phase I and II human clinical trials showed that the said vaccine could trigger an immune response in 3 to 17-year-old participants, adding that most adverse reactions were “mild”.
Aside from this, Yin said that Sinovac had also completed a Phase II human clinical trial wherein participants were inoculated with a third booster shot after completing two regular doses.
According to Yin, participants saw 10-fold increase in antibody levels compared with previous levels in a week and 20-fold increase in half a month.
Yin warned that Sinovac still needed to complete longer-term observation of antibody duration before it can make recommendation to authorities about when a booster shot should be given.
Meanwhile, state-backed vaccine maker Sinopharm was also submitting data for clearance in younger groups.