The first South African children taking part in the Sinovac COVID-19 trial have been vaccinated at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Pretoria.

Two thousand South African children between the ages of six months and 17 years have been enrolled in the trial which involves 14 000 children in five countries.

Participants will receive two doses of the Sinovac vaccine.

The Health Department’s Acting Director-General, Nicholas Crisp, says they followed a strict selection process.

He says, “Usually in all trials they would need to be healthy, no other contraindications and they go through very small numbers and then a slightly larger number for a second phase and then a larger number before they go for a full trial in the community. These are normal international protocols that are followed and they are very strictly regulated, especially by our regulator.”

Procuring of Sinovac

In July, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) outlined the processes to be taken by government and health authorities in procuring Sinovac’s COVID-19 jab.

SAHPRA authorised Sinovac’s CoronaVac jab for use with conditions under Section 21.

The double-dose shot, developed by a Chinese pharmaceutical group, is approved for people between the ages of 18 to 59.

VIDEO: Progressive Health Forum Convener Dr Aslam Dasoo welcomes the vaccine: