Sinovac to trial COVID-19 vaccine in South African children in global study

FILE PHOTO: China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines produced by VACSERA Co. are seen in Cairo, Egypt July 8, 2021. Picture taken July 8, 2021. REUTERS/Shokry Hussien

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – China’s Sinovac Biotech will trial its COVID-19 vaccine in children and adolescents in South Africa as part of a global Phase III study, Sinovac and local partner Numolux Group said on Thursday.

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 enroll 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.

“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 and Numolux said.

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