China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine registered for use in South Africa
The Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, known as CoronaVac. /CFP

The Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, known as CoronaVac. /CFP

Chinese COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac, developed by Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company Sinovac, has been registered for use in South Africa, the country's national health products regulator said in a statement on Friday. 

The South African Health Products and Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) registered CoronaVac with conditions on June 14, 2022, according to the statement. 

The conditions include that the vaccine is supplied and administered in accordance with South Africa's National Department of Health COVID-19 vaccination plan and applicable guidelines. Further conditions relate to the reporting of the results of ongoing studies and conformance with pharmacovigilance activities as outlined in the approved risk management plan, including the submission of periodic safety updates.

The CoronaVac is an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus (CZo2 strain) to prevent COVID-19 caused by this kind of virus. It is administered by intramuscular injection in two doses between 14-28 days apart from the initial dose for individuals 18-59 years of age.

The statement said the most common side effects were pain at the injection site, headache, tiredness, muscle pain and nausea, which were usually mild or moderate and cleared within a few days after vaccination.

Since September 2021, a phase-III clinical trial of the vaccine among 4,500 people aged between six months and 17 years in South Africa has demonstrated sound safety and immunogenicity among juveniles, according to Hilton Klein, CEO of Numolux Group, Sinovac's partner in South Africa.

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