Study shows Sinovac offers children ‘mild or modest’ protection from COVID-19 variants

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(Reuters)

MANILA, Philippines — Sinovac’s vaccine, according to a recent study, offers children “mild or modest” protection against variants of COVID-19, a pediatric infectious disease specialist said Thursday.

“So, merong (there is a) mild or modest protection against [Omicron and Delta] variants,” Dr. Ma. Liza Antoinette Gonzales said in a virtual forum.

The study assessed the safety and immune response of humoral and cellular immunity against virus variants in healthy children and adolescents in Chile.

The data was collected from 963 Chilean children between the ages of three and 17 who were inoculated with Sinovac’s vaccine within a four-week interval.

The Food and Drug Administration previously authorized the use of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged six and older.

“Ang ginamit nila pseudovirus neutralization test, so pa lang laboratory. Hindi pa talaga natin alam how it will be in real world. But, at least we know both the neutralizing antibodies and the T-cell responses against these two variants,” Gonzales pointed out.

(What they used is a pseudovirus neutralization test, so it’s just a lab method. We don’t know yet how it will work in the real world. But, at least we know there is both neutralizing antibodies as well as T-cell responses against these two variants.)

Gonzales said more studies are needed to conclude they are effective against COVID-19 variants.

Sinovac Formulation, Dosage

Meanwhile, Dr. Nina Gloriani, Chair of the Vaccine Expert Group Technical Working Group for COVID-19 Vaccines and Development, explained why there is no difference in formulation and Sinovac vaccine dosage for adults and children.

“Mas mataas ‘yung immune response gives higher dose, that’s why ‘yan ‘yung higher dose that is actually given to adults…Lower than that, wala kang protection,” she said.

(There is a higher immune response with the higher dose, so the higher dose is for adults, a lower dose will not offer any protection.)

The Sinovac vaccine is given in two doses of 0.5 milliliters each, 28 days apart.

In comparison, Pfizer’s vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is reformulated.

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