Chilean health authorities have allowed children from the age of 3 onwards to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Chinese-developed Sinovac drugs, the one most widely used on adults in the country, it was announced Thursday.
Before Thursday, immunization had been cleared by The Government's Public Health Institute (ISP) since the age of 6.
We received a report of 100 million doses applied in China to children between the ages of 3 and 17, of which adverse reaction reports, possibly related to the vaccine, were found among 1890 cases, a fairly low number compared to 100 million doses applied in the Asian country, ISP Deputy Director Heriberto García explained.
García also said that the production of antibodies in children regarding their autoimmune response was better and that contagion among vaccinated children would probably go down to zero, although that needs to be further investigated.
Public Health Undersecretary Paula Daza said the Government was to announce how we are going to carry out the vaccination process in these children shortly.
Daza, a paediatrician by profession, reported that over 94% of young people between 12 and 17 had been vaccinated with the first dose has had been 78.5% of children aged 6 to 11. Regarding coverage, with both doses, we have 86.3% among children between 12 and 17 years old and 57.8% among 6-to-11-year-olds.
Two weeks after starting the inoculation in girls, boys and adolescents, we show that the cases of Multisystemic Inflammatory Syndrome registered weekly began to decline, Daza also explained. Until Nov. 16, 403 cases had been reported, of which 231 were detected during 2021, mostly between March and the first week of July, before the mass vaccination of children under 17 years of age. This disease has occurred in minors from the first month of life to 17 years, and the average age of these cases in Chile is six years, so vaccination has been key in this age group, she said.
The Undersecretary also pointed out that after the sixth week of vaccination, when the second doses began to be administered, the cases of Multisystemic Inflammatory Syndrome have remained between 0 to 4 weekly cases, mostly between 0 and 2 cases a week, which was described as something very positive.
Chile's Health Ministry reported 2,641 new COVID-19 infections Thursday, a rate similar to that of July, while active cases rose from 13,659 to 14,393 patients. The incidence rate continues to skyrocket in the four regions under closer scrutiny: Aysén, Atacama, Los Lagos and Bío Bío.
Positivity reached 2.99% after 72,684 tests across 176 laboratories nationwide, marking the first day this index falls below 3% after 27 consecutive days.
Read also: Chinese lab Sinovac lands in Chile to pack and manufacture vaccines locally
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