Sunday , March 7 2021

Chinese vaccine Sinopharm COVID-19 safe for children and teenagers: State media

BEIJING: The vaccine against COVID-19, developed by China National Biotec Group (CNBG), a subsidiary of Sinopharma, is safe for people between the ages of three and 17, based on clinical data obtained by the company, state media reported on Friday (January 15).

“It should be noted that for three- to five-year-olds, because their immune system is still developing, they must be carefully and closely monitored during vaccination,” CNBG chairman Yang Xiaoming told Xinhua, without giving further details.

CNBG has two vaccines against COVID-19 in phase 3 clinical trials, which are approved for emergency use and are given to limited priority groups with a high risk of infection. Candidate for Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 is also authorized for emergency.

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The vaccine, developed by CNBG’s Beijing unit, was first approved in China for general public use in late December.

It was not immediately clear which CNBG vaccine Yang was referring to in its comments on clinical trials in children and adolescents. Sinopharm and CNBG were not immediately available for comment.

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The CNBG vaccine approved for general public use is 79.3 percent effective in preventing human disease, CNBG’s Beijing Institute of Biological Products said in late December, but has not yet released any detailed data on its effectiveness.

After largely curbing the coronavirus pandemic after hitting an economic power last year, China now faces groups of cases that are increasing, prompting the government to impose restrictions and blockades in certain regions.

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The Chinese vaccination program, which began in July for emergencies, has been expanded to include more priority groups in December, but still does not include people under the age of 18 and over the age of 59 due to insufficient clinical data.

The nephew’s candidate for the COVID-19 vaccine and CanSino Biologics injection are also being tested on children and teens.

Western vaccine developers, including Pfizer and Moderna, have also included 12-year-olds in their clinical trials.

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