Brazilian health regulator approves Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine for children 6 to 17 years old

Illustrative photo from Monday of a 9-year-old boy being vaccinated against COVID-19 in Sao Paulo Jan 17, 2022. REUTERS/Carla Carniel

by Ricardo Brito

BRASILIA, Jan 20 (Reuters) – The Brazilian health regulator on Thursday approved the use of Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine, CoronaVac, in children and adolescents between 6 and 17 years old without comorbidities.

The green light came when three of the five directors of the National Health Surveillance Agency voted in favor of the CoronaVac vaccine, produced in Brazil by the Butantan Institute in São Paulo. The remaining two directors have not yet voted.

“All the available scientific evidence suggests that there are benefits and safety for the use of the vaccine in the pediatric population,” said Gustavo Mendes, Anvisa’s General Manager of Medicines.

Mendes said that the dose of the vaccine is the same as for adults and that it reduces the occurrence of serious cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

The original request was to apply to children and adolescents between the ages of 3 and 17, regardless of whether they had any type of immunity commitment. But the board understood that not enough data was presented to guarantee the safety of that group.

The CoronaVac application will be carried out in two doses, with an interval of 28 days.

The manager of Anvisa said that, on this occasion, the phase 3 study on the performance of the vaccine for children published in Chile was presented. In August, the agency rejected the use of the vaccine for the pediatric public.

(Edited in Spanish by Benjamín Mejías Valencia)

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