Sinovac vaccine greenlit for children and teenagers

sinovac coronavac coronavirus vaccine
Photo: Jasni/Shutterstock

Brazilian health regulator Anvisa approved the use of Sinovac’s coronavirus vaccine on children aged 6 to 17, a move that could bolster the vaccination rollout — which has been stalled since August, as most of the Brazilian adult population has reached full immunization. So far, only the Pfizer vaccine has been administered to minors in Brazil.

Anvisa, however, vetoed the use of Sinovac’s CoronaVac on immunocompromised children and teenagers. It also ruled against giving the vaccine to children aged 3 to 5. The newly eligible group will receive two doses — at the same volume as those used by adults — spread over two to four weeks.

At least six countries have begun administering the CoronaVac to minors, including Ecuador and Chile. The latter was considered a landmark case study for Brazilian regulators, which mentioned that adverse reactions in the country were extremely rare.

São Paulo Governor João Doria said the state’s Butantan Biological Institute has over 15 million CoronaVac doses in stock, ready to be distributed. Meanwhile, the federal government has roughly 5.5 million doses that could be used to improve Brazil’s vaccination rates.