2021-06-29 07:06:50

A Chinese COVID-19 vaccine has shown to be safe among children as young as 3, according to the result of a clinical trial published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Minors who received a two-dose regimen of the Sinovac vaccine produced an immune response to fight against the virus that causes COVID-19, said the paper published Monday. The trial involved more than 500 minors between the ages of 3 and 17, none of whom reported serious adverse effects after vaccination.

Earlier this month, Chinese authorities approved the use of COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in children and adolescents, though it didn’t specify which of the five approved shots would be used. However, Sinovac said that its shot, dubbed CoronaVac, has been green-lit for use among younger groups.

Though some countries have included adolescents in their COVID-19 vaccination drive, China is the only country in the world to inoculate children as young as 3. Inoculation of China’s younger individuals, who account for a large share of the population, is therefore a critical step for the country to achieve herd immunity.

According to The Lancet study, researchers plan to monitor the vaccinated group for at least a year to determine the shot’s long-term safety.

China started using the Sinovac shots for adults in February, and it is the second Chinese-developed vaccine in the World Health Organization’s list of approved COVID-19 vaccines.

CoronaVac is said to be about 51% effective in preventing COVID-19, according to a large-scale clinical trial in Brazil. Meanwhile, a real-world study in Chile showed the shots to be 67% effective.

Editor: Bibek Bhandari.

(Header image: People Visual)