Health

Countries that give Covid-19 vaccine to children from 3 years old – VnExpress


China, Cuba, and the UAE have given Covid-19 vaccines to children aged 3 and older, in the context of a strong spread of the Delta variant.

As classes reopen and restrictions ease, many parents are concerned about sending their children to school amid the fast-spreading Delta variant. At the beginning of the pandemic, experts said children were less affected by the virus, rarely becoming severe or dying after contracting the disease. But so far, the number of infections under the age of 18 has increased.

For example, in Israel, after schools opened on September 1, the number of children who tested positive for Covid-19 began to increase significantly. In September, more than 54 percent of positive tests in the country were among children aged 0 to 19, according to the Israeli Ministry of Health.

In the US, the number of children and adolescents hospitalized increased nearly fivefold between late June and mid-August, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). As of October 28, nearly 6.4 million American children tested positive for nCoV, of which 657 children died. In the past week, the US recorded an additional 101,000 children infected with Covid-19.

To limit outbreaks in young children, many countries have approved Covid-19 vaccination for people 3 years of age and older.

From October 25, children from 3 years old at China vaccinated against Covid-19. 76% of the country’s population has received two doses of the vaccine. Authorities still maintain a “zero tolerance” strategy with the disease (Zero Covid).

Authorities in at least five Chinese provinces have announced immunization programs for children aged 3 to 11 years old. The move took place when many localities recorded small clusters of epidemics, the number of infections increased faster.

August, United Arab Emirates (UAE) also announced Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine for people from 3 to 17 years old. The decision was made by the country’s Ministry of Health after an extensive clinical trial and evaluation. The trial began in June, with 900 children participating. Previously, the UAE gave Pfizer vaccination to children aged 12 to 15 years. The country is one of Sinopharm’s largest vaccine testing sites.

Late last year, Sinopharm released preliminary data showing the vaccine was 79 percent effective overall. A study by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), published in the September issue of the Lancet journal, showed that the vaccine is safe for children aged 3 to 17 years old.

Sinovac also announced in March that the vaccine creates immunity, does not cause dangerous side effects in children 3-17 years old. Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials have demonstrated that Sinovac’s vaccine induces an immune response in 550 volunteers aged 3-17, according to Gang Zeng, Sinovac’s chief medical officer.

Both Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines use inactivated viruses, a traditional technology used to make polio vaccines. Scientists have grown viruses in a specific environment, then inhibited them with chemicals to prevent them from multiplying in the human body. Vaccines are easy to transport in freeze-dried form, accessible to people in developing countries, but stimulate a weaker immune response than vaccines containing live viruses.

Early September, Health Administration Cuba approved immunization for children 2-11 years of age. Cuban children are vaccinated with two domestic vaccines, Soberana 2 and Soberana Plus. The vaccine is developed by recombinant protein technology, can be stored at normal refrigeration, does not require deep freezer like some other mRNA vaccines. Clinical trials in both adults and children have shown that both vaccines are more than 90% effective. However, the data has not been published and peer-reviewed in peer-reviewed journals.

A vial of the Covid-19 vaccine Soberana-2 during the third phase of the trial in Havana, Cuba, March 31. Photo: Reuters

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 29 approved Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years old, injecting about 28 million children nationwide. The decision was made after an FDA advisory committee reviewed the clinical data from the trial and voted overwhelmingly by consensus.

Where rates of natural immunity are low or in scenarios where a new variant emerges, vaccination of children with Covid-19 is seen as playing a major role in preventing the pandemic.

For example, Australia plans to open international flights in November, allowing citizens and immigrants to enter and exit if 80% of the population is vaccinated. Emma McBryde, an infectious disease researcher at the Australian Institute of Tropical Medicine and Health, said the move was “inviting the virus into the country”. To ensure safety, the country needs to build an extremely strong immune barrier for its citizens through vaccination in both adults and children. To date, the Australian government has not considered approving a vaccine for people under 12 years of age.

Vietnam is currently only injecting Covid-19 vaccine for children 12-17 years old, the injection schedule is from large to small, according to vaccine supply and epidemic situation in each locality. The Ministry of Health has approved two vaccines for children, Pfizer and Moderna. However, Moderna’s vaccine supply is in short supply, so children are vaccinated with Pfizer’s vaccine. On November 2, Ho Chi Minh City proposed to vaccinate children 3-11 years old, currently the Ministry of Health has not responded.

Thuc Linh (Follow AP, SCMP, CNN, African News)

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