Chile plans to vaccinate children under 12 for Covid in the coming weeks

Chile hopes to start offer vaccination to combat Covid-19 to children under 12 in September, as the nation continues to have one of the fastest inoculation campaigns in the world.

The government’s procurement plans include vaccines for young people in that age range, said the undersecretary of International Economic Relations, Rodrigo Yáñez, in an interview with Bloomberg TV, being Sinovac “a candidate” who is being considered, since “they have shown very good results for that age and their safety is extremely good.”

“We hope to start vaccinating that population probably in August or September”, said Yáñez, who leads the government’s negotiations with providers of Covid-19 vaccines around the world. “At the moment we are vaccinating adolescents from the age of 14”.

Chile has already distributed two doses to more than 61% of its population, according to Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker, a vastly larger percentage than its regional peers and also more than rich countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. After battling waves of the virus earlier this year, the nation is now relaxing restrictions as cases plummet.

Globally, many parents do not want their children to receive the vaccine, because their risks of hospitalization and death from the disease are low.

A Sinovac team is currently in Chile studying different locations for a possible vaccine production plant, that can serve the entire region, Yáñez said in the interview. “We are also interested in RNA technology plants,” he said.

Chile continues in talks for more vaccines with suppliers, including Sinovac, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna y Sputnik VYáñez said. On Wednesday, the Chilean Institute of Public Health approved the use of Sputnik V in adults.

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Regarding the possibility of a third dose or booster dose and what vaccine would be used for this, Yáñez stressed that “right now that is what the Ministry of Health is evaluating.”

“What we have seen is that mixing vaccines with different technologies even improves the immune response, that is definitely an option that we are considering”, Held.

To date, Chile has received about 18.6 million vaccines from Sinovac, 6.1 million from Pfizer-BioNTech, 1.7 million from AstraZeneca and 575 thousand from CanSino Biologics Inc., according to information from the Presidency. The total population of the country is close to 18 million people.

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