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China accelerates on the coronavirus vaccination campaign and gives the green light to the administration of Sinovac also to children and young people aged 3 to 17 “in case of emergency”, thus becoming the first country in the world to include children. The United States and the EU, which have already authorized the use of the Pfizer vaccine on children between the ages of 12 and 15, are also preparing to further lower the age group but this will not happen before autumn.
With a population of nearly 1.4 billion people, China has so far administered 744 million doses, increasing the pace impressively after a slow start. Last month, 100 million doses against Covid-19 were administered in just five days. The campaign is far from perfect and distribution is uneven, but the Beijing government has said it is confident it can vaccinate 80% of the population by the end of the year.
The announcement of the green light for the Chinese vaccine to the under 18s was given by the president of the company that produces it Sinovac Biotech, Yin Weidong, who had applied for authorization last March. The preliminary results of the trial, he explained, show good efficacy on minors and a reduced risk of side effects. Yin added that individual health authorities will determine if and when to start administering the vaccine to children, stressing that adults and the elderly continue to have the highest priority.
Another Chinese pharmaceutical company, Sinopharm, has sent the request for the administration in the youngest of its serums, similar in the type of technology used to Sinovac. Also in China, the CanSino Biologics vaccine, based on another principle, has entered phase II of the trial involving children and young people aged between six and 17 years.
The situation is different in the United States and in the European Union, where tests are still underway on vaccines against coronavirus to verify their safety and efficacy on the under 12s. Pfizer is currently conducting clinical trials on healthy children aged between 6 months and 11 years divided into three groups: from 6 months to 2 years, from 2 to 5 years and from 5 to 12 years.
Moderna is also carrying out a clinical trial on children from 6 months to 11 years, while Johnson & Johnson and Novavax are continuing the studies on adolescents between 12 and 17 years. At this rate, the administration of the vaccine on children will be authorized in the United States, and to follow in Europe, not before September or October.
Source: Huffington Post Italy Athena2 by www.huffingtonpost.it.
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