The regime authorized the company to initiate tests on more than 500 minors in the northeastern province of Hebei
September 17, 2020 Share on FacebookShare Share on TwitterTweet Share on WhatsAppShare
Vials with coronavirus vaccine candidates from Sinovac Biotech Ltd on booth at China International Trade Fair in Services 2020 (CIFTIS), Beijing, China (REUTERS / Tingshu Wang)
The Chinese pharmaceutical Sinovac will begin on the 28th of this month, in just eleven days, to test its vaccine against the coronavirus in adolescents and children, after the tests carried out in adults, which are in the final phase, have given positive results , confirmed company sources.
Sinovac announced on September 9 that the results of its CoronaVac vaccine trials in phases 1 and 2 had shown “good safety and immunogenicity” in healthy adults over 60 years of age as they did among people between 18 and 59 years. Antibody levels in those over 60 were slightly lower than those found in tests with a younger population, according to the company.
Ensuring that the vaccine can be applied to the entire population, including children and adolescents, is one of the keys to preventing outbreaks of the virus in schools and daycare centers. According to a study log published on its website by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, up to 552 healthy people ages 3 to 17 will receive two doses of CoronaVac and a placebo, a test that will combine phases 1 and 2 of clinical trials. The procedure has already been approved by China's regulator, Sinovac said.
Sinovac Biotech Ltd plans to carry out tests on minors from September 28 (REUTERS / Tingshu Wang)
Testing in other countries
Trials will begin in northeast China's Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing. The Sinovac vaccine, which is produced in Latin America in cooperation with the Brazilian institute Butantan, based in Sao Paulo, is in the last phase of large-scale adult trials in countries such as Brazil, Indonesia or Turkey.
The governor of the State of Sao Paulo, Joao Doria, assured last Monday that they intend to immunize all Brazilians with the Chinese vaccine and later to other Latin American countries.
Brazil's National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) has authorized clinical trials on 9,000 volunteers. CoronaVac has 46 million doses insured in the South American country until December and another 16 million for the first quarter of 2021, according to Brazilian authorities. About 90 percent of the Chinese pharmaceuticals employees worldwide and their families have received their doses, according to the company.
Four Chinese vaccines are currently in phase 3 of clinical trials – among a total of nine in the world – although one of the remaining five is part of a consortium formed by the Chinese Fosun Pharma, the German Biontech and the American Pfizer. The four totally Chinese are those from Sinovac, Sinopharm, the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and the one from Cansino Biologics, which began to be used in late June in the Chinese Army.
Finding a vaccine that is effective for the entire population, including the very young, could be crucial to prevent new outbreaks of the disease – which has caused more than 930,000 deaths worldwide – in schools and kindergartens, which potentially infect to teachers and parents.
So far the data suggests that COVID-19 generally causes mild symptoms in children relative to adults, but some cases in minors have required intensive care, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Earlier this month, Sinovac said CoronaVac appeared to be safe and capable of inducing antibodies in older people, albeit at a lower level in young adults, based on preliminary results from a mid-phase clinical trial.
With information from EFE and Reuters
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