August 1, 2021

China plans to vaccinate children from 3 years old

True to its strategy of zero Covid, China plans to vaccinate children from the age of 3. “Sinovac carried out a clinical study on minors which started at the beginning of the year. Phase I and II clinical trials have been completed. Hundreds of cases have shown that after vaccination this group is as safe as the group of adults over 18 ”, Yin Weidong, CEO of Sinovac Biotech, one of China’s industry leaders, said on June 4. The other big public player, Sinopharm, which uses the same technology as Sinovac (the inactivated vaccine) made a similar announcement soon after.

Currently, vaccinations only concern people over 18 years old. “Based on the specific pandemic situation, epidemic control requirements and characteristics of the target age group, China will commission medical experts to formulate detailed policies on the recently authorized vaccination of the elderly. 3 to 17 years old, and will ensure that the effort is applied in a safe and efficient manner by the competent authorities ”, Cui Gang, a member of the National Health Commission, said on June 11.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Covid-19: China’s vaccine diplomacy taken from behind

Various Beijing vaccination centers interviewed since then say they have not received any instructions. Parents want to believe that if there is vaccination of children, it will be carried out on a voluntary basis and will be organized within the school framework, as is already the case for other vaccination campaigns. “At least if they plan to vaccinate our children, it is because they are sure that the Chinese vaccines do not have a negative effect. Otherwise, the authorities would not take this risk ”, reassures a mother who herself is reluctant to be vaccinated.

Challenge to the industrial apparatus

Beijing has so far approved seven vaccines, all Chinese: five inactivated vaccines, a recombinant adenovirus vaccine and a recombinant protein subunit vaccine. The World Health Organization approved Sinopharm’s inactivated vaccine “urgently” on May 8 and Sinovac’s on May June.

After a rather laborious start, China has since April entered an intensive vaccination campaign. Very intensive even. Up to 20 million doses were injected daily in early June, more than half of the daily doses used worldwide (around 35 million). The authorities’ objective: to have vaccinated 560 million people at the end of June, with priority given to people at risk and to residents of Beijing where the 1is July, the ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party. As of June 14, 904 million doses of vaccine had been injected. In Beijing, 17.8 million people had received 33.1 million doses.

You have 31.79% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.