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States in East and South Africa Join Vaccine Trials on Children

South Africa has started vaccinating children and adolescents as part of the global phase three clinical trials of China’s Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccine for people aged between six months and 17 years old. The global study will enroll 2,000 participants in South Africa and 12,000 others will be taking part in Kenya, the Philippines, Chile and Malaysia. South Africa accounts for more than 35 percent of COVID-19 infections in Africa, with 2.8 million confirmed cases, including 84,327 deaths. It has been battling a resurgence driven by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, recording 6,270 new infections and 175 deaths in the past 24 hours. More than seven million people have been fully vaccinated with either the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. South Africa is currently offering vaccines to all adults 18 years and older as it seeks to vaccinate at least 40 million people of its 60 million population by the end of the year, but it is struggling to reach its target of vaccinating at least 300,000 people daily.