Beijing | The pharmaceutical company said on Tuesday that China is preparing to vaccinate children as young as three against the coronavirus, which should make the country the first in the world to distribute vaccines to young children.
The Asian giant, where COVID-19 first emerged in late 2019, has already administered nearly 800 million doses, so far only to adults aged 18 and over.
Beijing, which has virtually eradicated the epidemic on its land since May 2020, hopes to vaccinate at least 70% of its population, or about one billion inhabitants, by the end of the year.
In this context, a spokesman for the Sinovac laboratory, which produces one of three vaccines currently allowed in China, told AFP that its Coronavac serum, which requires two doses, could be distributed to minors.
“The Sinovac vaccine has been approved in recent days for children between the ages of three and 17,” he told AFP.
The press secretary did not specify when it would be possible to administer the first doses to children, according to him, the schedule is in the hands of the Ministry of Health.
According to him, the laboratory has completed clinical trials involving children and adolescents, the results of which will be published in the British magazine “The Lancet”.
In addition to Sinovac, China has so far approved the introduction of a vaccine produced by its laboratories Sinopharm (two doses) and Cansino Biologics (one dose) for adults.
These laboratories have also begun clinical trials on minors. In total, about 20 Chinese candidate vaccines are undergoing clinical trials, health ministry spokesman Zheng Zhongwei said Sunday.
Sinovac and Sinopharm products are approved for use in adults by the World Health Organization (WHO). Both are used in several countries around the world.
Elsewhere in the world, the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom have approved the use of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine in children 12 years of age and older.