China’s Sinovac Biotech will trial its Covid-19 vaccine in children and adolescents in South Africa as part of a global study, Reuters reports.
The study will evaluate the efficacy, immunogenicity and safety of the CoronaVac vaccine on children and adolescents aged 6 months to 17 years, the firms said in a statement.
The global trial will enrol 14,000 participants across Chile, the Philippines, Malaysia, Kenya including 2,000 in South Africa, they said.
The trial has been approved by South African drugs regulator Sahpra, and the first child will be vaccinated at the MeCRU Clinical Research Unit based at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University on Friday (10 September).
“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 said.
South Africa has opened Covid-19 vaccinations to people over the age of 18, but currently does not accept children and adolescents in its vaccine programme.
On Wednesday (8 September), South Africa reported 7,338 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 2,836,773.
Deaths have reached 84,152 (+253), while recoveries have climbed to 2,618,386, leaving the country with a balance of 134,235 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 14,126,008 (+233,707).
With reporting by Reuters.