SANTIAGO, Chile — Chile’s Public Health Institute has approved the Chinese-developed Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for children older than 6, though the health minister must approve the plan before shots enter arms.
The panel of senior physicians, including presidents of the associations of pediatrics and infectology, analyzed a Chinese study of 500 children aged 3 to 17, all of whom produced antibodies. A similar study of 4,000 children is being organized in Chile.
Brazil’s health regulatory agency, however, recently rejected a similar request by Sinovac, and asked for data involving a larger study.
Chile already had authorized vaccinations for children as young as 12, though only with the Pfizer vaccine. Supply shortages have stalled that effort.
Chilean officials plan to vaccinate 15.2 million of the country’s 19 million people. So far they have given a full double dose regimen to 86% of those now eligible. The country last month also began giving AstraZeneca booster shots to fully vaccinated people people older than 55.