Chile authorises vaccine for kids six years and olderTuesday, September 07, 2021
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chilean health authorities yesterday approved the use of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for children six years and older, the first Latin American country to take that step.
Heriberto García, director of Chile's Public Health Institute, said the institution approved the new measure by five votes in favour and one against.
Now, the health ministry has to determine dates and the mechanism to start vaccinations.
The approval was given when the South American nation had fully immunised more than three-fourths of its adult population.
Catholic University of Chile is currently conducting a study with 4,000 children between the ages of three and 17 to study the effects of Sinovac on them.
But García said the experts at the Public Health Institute based their decision on a review of information given by the Sinovac laboratory and information published in medical journals.
In Latin America, a few countries have approved only the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 and older. China has authorised Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines for children ages three to 17.
Few regulators around the world have evaluated the safety of COVID-19 shots in children, but the approvals are starting. The United States, Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong are all allowing the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children as young as 12.
Chile has reported more than 1.6 million COVID-19 cases and more than 37,100 deaths.