Health Ministry approves use of Sinovac vaccine in children over 3 years old

PHOTO: Flickr/Emanuel Borges da Silva

The Public Health Ministry has approved China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for use in children between the ages of 3 and 17. Opas Karnkawinpong from the Department of Disease Control said a ministry sub-committee made the decision on Friday, but added that parental consent will still be required before children can be vaccinated with Sinovac. In addition, the use of Sinovac in young children will also require the approval of Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration. Opas says once that approval has been secured, inoculation can begin straight away.

According to a Bangkok Post report, Opas referred to a number of studies that have shown the use of Sinovac to be safe in children and adolescents. Last December, the FDA approved the use of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Health minister Anutin Charnvirakul has welcomed the Sinovac decision, saying it gives parents more choice in what vaccine their child should have. He went on to say that Thailand now has a variety of different types of Covid-19 vaccines and that people yet to be vaccinated should come forward as soon as possible. Anutin added that acquiring a degree of immunity through vaccination was safer than doing so through infection.

The Bangkok Post reports that yesterday, Covid-19 vaccination for children aged 5 – 11 kicked off at the Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health in Bangkok. The children were given the Pfizer mRNA vaccine.

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In related news, Opas says the health ministry’s sub-committee has also approved the use of AstraZeneca as a booster dose for people who’ve already received 2 doses of AstraZeneca. The decision was taken after a UK study showed that protection against severe illness or death from Covid-19 was significantly improved after 3 doses of AstraZeneca.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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