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China approves emergency use of virus shots for ages 3-17

A health worker inoculates a resident with a Sinovac dose of COVID-19 vaccine during a mass vaccination at a housing apartment in Surabaya on June 6, 2021. (JUNI KRISWANTO / AFP)

BEIJING – China has approved the emergency use of its domestic inactivated vaccines against COVID-19 on people aged from 3 to 17, according to a press conference held on Friday.

Currently, China's mass-vaccination campaign mainly targets adults aged over 18, with over 800 million vaccine doses administered across the country so far, said Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention expert Shao Yiming, at the press conference.

China's mass-vaccination campaign so far has proved that its domestically-made vaccines are safe and effective, Shao said.

Following their authorized use for adults, the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines, both developed by China's pharmaceutical institutions, have been proven safe for the 3-17 age group after clinical trials and expert reviews, and are now authorized for emergency use by the age group by related authorities, said Shao.

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Based on the specific pandemic situation, disease-control requirements and the targeted age group's characteristics, China will organize medical experts to formulate detailed policies on newly-granted vaccinations for people aged 3 to 17, and see that the effort is carried out in a safe and effective manner by the relevant authorities, said Cui Gang, an official with the disease control department of China's National Health Commission (NHC).

According to the NHC, over 845.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered as of Thursday, with 622 million people vaccinated across China.