Sinovac COVID vaccine trial for children enrols first SA participants

Participants will be given the Sinovac vaccine, with scientists setting out to evaluate its safety and efficacy in protecting against COVID infection.

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CAPE TOWN - South Africa's first paediatric trial of a COVID-19 vaccine has enrolled its first participants.

The Numolux Group vaccine trial focuses on children and teenagers from six months to 17-years-old.

Participants will be given the Sinovac vaccine, with scientists setting out to evaluate its safety and efficacy in protecting against COVID infection.

The parents of the trial participants have to give informed consent before their children are enrolled.

"The study has a number of informed consents. There is a main informed consent that the parents sign - a parent has to accompany the child to the study for the initial consent."

The trial's principal coordinator, Doctor Sanet Aspinall said after that, the children would receive two doses of either the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine or a placebo, scheduled 28 days apart.

The South African arm of the global study will enrol 2,000 volunteers, with a total cohort of 14,000 around the world.

Aspinall explained that most of the trial sites contacted adults already on their databases to see if they wanted to enrol their children in the study.

"The main way of recruiting participants but the site also has community group leaders that go out into the communities and go and talk to people about the disease and about the vaccine."

There are seven trial sites operating in the country - four in Gauteng, two in the Western Cape and one in the North West.

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