Vaccination trials below 18-yrs ongoing: MHMS

AstraZeneca vaccine. Photo by NDTV.
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COMPANIES producing covid-19 vaccines globally are still processing trials to include jabbing of children below 18 years of age.

The only two approved covid-19 vaccines introduced so far in Solomon Islands are Sinopharm, manufactured in China, and AstraZeneca, manufactured in India.

Dr Choudhri Yogesh, advisor to Ministry of Health and Medical Services, said according to clinical guideline, people less below 18 years of age are not included to receive vaccines.

“That is why the safety and efficacy in people and children less than 18 years is not proven.

“However companies dealing with the World Health Organisation approved vaccines are now starting trials to include children. Once the efficacy and safety of these vaccines in terms of data they will get will provide necessary recommendation for children to use,” Yogesh said.

He said the only vaccine that has already been approved under the EU Authorisation the US to be given to children between the age of 12 and 15 years of age is the Pfizer vaccine.

“I would say the things are moving on but we need more data on the efficacy and safety amongst the children for use of these vaccines,” said Choudhri.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has set the official launch of Sinopharm covid-19 vaccine for this Friday.  

“Since we only have 50,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine we can only vaccinate 25000 people because it requires two doses to be administered at an interval of four weeks,” Sogavare said.