The Argentine government has announced approval for the use of the Sinopharm vaccine, of Chinese origin, to immunize children between the ages of 3 and 11 against Covid-19, the only age group that has not yet started the immunization process in the South American country.
“It’s a big step in our vaccination campaign and it adds to the escalation of vaccinations for adolescents that we are planning for October,” Health Minister Carla Vizzotti said at a joint press conference with fellow educationist, Jaime Perzik.
About 5.5 to 6 million children between the ages of 3 and 11 can be vaccinated, and Argentina already has a stockpile of nearly 10 million doses of Sinopharm and expects 2.75 million to arrive in the next week.
Sinopharm immunosuppressants are given in two doses, 28 days apart.
The minister promised that “Argentina will end the year 2021 with covering all its residents over the age of 3” against the Corona virus.
Vizzotti explained that for this approval they relied on the results of phase I and II clinical trials conducted on children in China and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the trial in Chile, where another vaccine is being applied “on an equal platform” in this age group.
Argentina recently began immunizing five million adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. In total, as of Friday, about 22.4 million people had completed the vaccination schedule (49.7% of the total population), and another 7.4 million had received the first dose.
The government intends to take advantage of the covid-19 campaign to complete the mandatory vaccination scheme for school-age children, which has been stalled in many cases since March 2020 amid the pandemic blockade.
“These vaccines can be given together, and it would be a great opportunity to restore vaccination plans,” Vizzotti said.
Several weeks ago, Argentina recorded a significant decrease in daily infections and deaths due to Covid-19, as the numbers on Friday were 1,564 new cases and 48 deaths, which led to a strong reopening of activities.
Argentina, with a population of 45 million, has recorded 5.5 million infections in total and just over 115,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
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