Chinese Covid-19 vaccine to be tested on children in South Africa

South Africa will participate in a study that will trial the use of Chinese company Sinovac’s vaccine in children and adolescents, Reuters has reported.

On Thursday, the company and its South African partner Numolux announced that South Africa will form part of its global Phase III trial of the Coronavac vaccine.

The trial will see 14,000 participants between six months and 17 years across South Africa, Chile, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Kenya receiving Sinovac’s two-shot vaccine.

In South Africa, 2,000 children and adolescents will be enrolled.

“The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the efficacy of two doses of Coronavac against confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 cases in children and adolescents. Efficacy will also be evaluated against hospitalisation and severe Covid-19,” Sinovac and Numolux stated.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) and World Health Organisation (WHO) have approved the trial.

To date, Sahpra has only approved the AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, while the Coronavac vaccine has been approved with conditions, for use in adults.

Only the Pfizer-BioNTech and J&J vaccines are generally available at vaccination sites in the country, however.

Following a big increase in daily vaccinations to around 250,000 per day after registrations were opened to persons aged between 18 and 34 years, the last week has seen vaccinations drop slightly to just over 200,000 each day.

As of 17:00 on 8 September 2021, just over 26%, or about 10.4 million of South Africa’s adult population of 39.8 million people, had received at least one shot of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or J&J vaccine.

Almost 6.9 million have been fully vaccinated.

The government has set itself a target of vaccinating at least 28 million South Africans by the end of December 2021.

The graph below shows the number of vaccines administered in each of South Africa’s provinces from the start of the vaccine rollout.

Now read: Lockdown to be relaxed in South Africa — with fewer alcohol restrictions

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Chinese Covid-19 vaccine to be tested on children in South Africa