Protecting Children from COVID-19 Pandemic

By Ni Yanshuo, ChinAfrica

Mr Shen Long, Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa

16 September 2021

Vaccine produced by Chinese company Sinovac Biotech will soon be used by South African children to fight the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic. On September 10, the company and Numolux Group, its agent in South Africa, launched the Phase III clinic trial of CoronaVac vaccine on children. Two volunteers received the vaccine at the launch ceremony.

The Phase I/II study on children has been conducted in China and the results have been published in The Lancet, 28 June 2021.

The study worldwide will enroll 14,000 children and adolescents in various pediatric age group cohorts across five countries (South Africa, Chile, the Philippines, Malaysia and Kenya). Numolux has partnered with seven clinical research sites across South Africa to enroll 2,000 participants from six months to 17 years.

South African Health Products Authority approved the use of CoronaVac in the country on July 3 to tackle COVID-19. Former Acting Minister of Health Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has described the approval as a turning point and much-needed relief for the country’s vaccination program.

Numolux CEO Hilton Klein said that there are roughly 24 million children and teenagers in South Africa, and that if the vaccine made by Sinovac is approved for use on them, it will help the country reach herd immunity more quickly.