Around 2,000 South African children aged between 6 months and 17 years took part in the first of in a global Covid-19 vaccine trial on Friday at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Pretoria.
The children vaccination trial rollout was approved by the South African Health Products Authority (SAPHRA) after 12% of South Africa’s population has been vaccinated.
According to South Africa’s health regulator, the decision to vaccinate children came after a review of updated safety and efficacy information submitted in March this year.
While speaking with the media, the Sinovac South African project director, Dr Sanet Aspinall….said the children vaccination
‘’COVID-19 affects children. They get infections while they’re in schools and they bring it back to their families. During this pandemic, there has been very little done for the children. Therefore, the children vaccination trial rollout in South Africa will address that big need.”
When asked about the rights of children to choose whether they want to be part of the trial run, admitted that at this point, it is a little bit challenge to strike a balance between children rights to health and children right or freedom to choose not to be vaccinated.
”We are fully aware of all sensitivity and potential human rights issues that are linked to this whole process. We know that there are people who believe that if not implemented correctly this Covid 19 children trial rollout could be accused of violating the rights of children who have not consented to be vaccinated.”
”We are also aware that there are people who are extremely pleased that we are being proactive in our approach to save lives because many have been infected, others have died from Covid 19. So, instead of being stuck in that debate, we have chosen to align our actions with the latter part of that dilemma admission.”
South Africa together with Kenya, Chile, Indonesia and Malaysia are the only first countries that have started children vaccination trial rollout.
The South African Covid 19 vaccination trial run received mixed reactions from ordinary South Africans. Some accused the South African government of selling out its citizens and exposing children to potential human rights violations.
Alexandra based resident Thokeka Buthelezi (44) criticize the South African government for approving children Covid 19 vaccination trial rollout. According to the anti-vaxxer, the ongoing vaccination is nothing but another money-making strategy by politicians.
”I find it very surprising that after we have seen the western powers doing to our country’s citizens, our government is the first one to vaccinate its children.
Why are our children are using in some potential dangerous Covid 19 trial? Why can’t countries like China, the USA, Italy and all other countries who were hardest hit by the pandemic, not the first ones to vaccinate their children?” said Buthelezi
On the other hand, Tshepiso Makgatla (38) applauded South African Health Products Authority and everyone who ensured that the children Covid 19 vaccination pilot has been been started as soon as possible.
”We all know that the Covid third wave is a big possibility. So, unlike South African Health Products Authority decided to do the right thing and that is to prevent the possibility of many people, more especially children do not fall victim to the pandemic. In my view, this is the best proactive our government has done.” said Makgatla
It really doesn’t matter which side of the fence you’re on, for educational purpose, at this stage, a public discussion about Covid 19 vaccination and lockdown protocols.