COVID vaccine for minors gets the green light in Brazil and Thailand

COVID-19 protection for minors six to 17 years old is within reach as the Sinovac COVID vaccine was given the green light for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in Brazil and Thailand which could be the basis for the same EUA in the Philippines. This development can advance the campaign for pediatric vaccination in the country, allaying parental concerns about their children's welfare while reducing vaccine hesitancy.

Sinovac is also being used for children and adolescents in China, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries in the region.

In a statement at a recent media forum on COVID-19, Enrique Gonzalez, chairman of the pharmaceutical consortium the IP Biotech Group, explained the consequences of these findings on the current fight against COVID-19. He said, “The medical communities and regulators in several countries have provided data that can assure parents on the safety and efficacy of vaccinating their children. The data will show that Sinovac is indeed a very safe choice for children and teenagers. This supports the notion on the safety and reliability of inactivated virus vaccines, much like the flu vaccine."


Gonzalez added that the study in Chile, with data gleaned from 1.9 million children aged six to 17 years old, also showed that Sinovac's efficacy is at about 74 percent. Minors who have contracted COVID-19 but had been vaccinated with Sinovac avoided hospitalizations with an average batting rate of 90 percent. More important, Sinovac’s efficacy in preventing intensive care unit (ICU) hospitalizations and deaths of COVID-19 stands at 100 percent.

Chile is one of the countries with the highest vaccination rates globally. It approved the EUA of Sinovac for the aforementioned younger age groups who had no underlying health issues in late 2021.

Brazil, through their regulatory body Anvisa, and Thailand arrived at a similar decision this month when they too approved EUA for Sinovac for the same age group who has no comorbidities. The Sinovac vaccination in Brazil will take two doses, administered within a gap of 28 days.

Pediatric vaccination against COVID-19 has been gaining ground in other countries. In Hong Kong, authorities have started to vaccinate children aged five and above starting early January of this year. Prior to this initiative, face-to-face classes in primary schools and kindergartens were temporarily closed to halt mass infection among the kids. In the Philippines, the vaccination for five to 11 years old commenced in early February. According to Carlito Galvez, vaccine czar of the Department of Health (DOH), this move will help give parents the confidence to allow their kids to attend face-to-face classes.

Sinovac has played a key role in ensuring that populations around the world have adequate defense against the virus. In the Philippines, a majority of the public has been jabbed by Sinovac. Among the private sector, IP-Biotech Inc. facilitated the first arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines that were procured by the private sector back in June. Sinovac is the most widely-used COVID-19 vaccine in the country and has been proven to be safe and efficacious.

Gonzalez, who is also the chairman of Family Vaccines Specialty Clinics, Inc. (FVSC) emphasized: “It is important that we provide more choices and proper vaccine access to Filipino families. The vaccine we are introducing has been approved in many other countries with stringent regulatory authorities. We are hoping for similar approval in the Philippines so we can ensure the safety of our youth."