The COVID-19’s vaccine CoronaVac, developed by Sinovac, a Chinese biopharmaceutical company has been found safe to use in children. According to the results of clinical trials, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal, the vaccine generates a strong antibody response with a better immune system in the children and adolescents of age group 3-17 years.
Phase 1/2 clinical trial of CoronaVac has recently been approved for emergency use in China’s children, above 3 years. The trial covered 550 children and adolescents aged between 3-17 years and was conducted at the Hebei Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Zanhuang (Hebei, China).
Based on the results of the proven trials, two different doses of 1.5 μg and 3.0 μg were given via injections with a time-lapse of 28 days. More than 96% of the children have successfully received CoronaVac’s vaccine 2 doses which have been manufactured with antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, aiming to have higher levels of antibodies and could neutralise the effect of the virus.
After getting jabbed, the most common adverse reactions were moderate in severity with pain at the injection site however, a few children reported symptoms of pneumonia, which isn’t related to vaccination; say researchers. The pain was a frequently reported event in 73 children out of 550 wherein, it occurred in 36 children in 1.5 μg dose and 35 children during 3.0 μg dose. However, most of these events occurred within 7 days after getting jabbed and children having mild symptoms recovered within 2 days.
Therefore, it has been analysed that the immune responses were higher in children as compared to the adults of age group 18-59 years. The found responses are consistent with the findings from other vaccination trials, showcasing that immune response in children is stronger in children and gets decreased with the increasing age.
Qiang Gao of Sinovac Life Sciences Co. Ltd said that “Children and adolescents with COVID-19 usually have mild or asymptomatic infections compared with adults; however, a small number may still be at risk of severe illness. They can also transmit the virus to others, making it vital to test the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in younger age groups”. “Our finding that CoronaVac was well tolerated and induced strong immune responses are very encouraging, and suggests that further studies in other regions, involving larger, multi-ethnic populations, could provide valuable data to inform immunisation strategies involving children and adolescents,” Gao added.