(Bloomberg) -- Chile expects to start offering Covid-19 vaccinations to children under the age of 12 by September, as the nation presses ahead with one of the world’s fastest inoculation campaigns.
The government’s procurement plans include shots for youth in that age range, Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yanez said in a Bloomberg TV interview. Jabs from Sinovac Biotech Ltd. are a candidate for when the inoculation drive expands, given their efficacy against the virus and safety record, he said.
“We expect to start vaccinating that population probably around August or September,” said Yanez, who leads the government’s negotiations with Covid-19 shot providers around the world. “Now, we are vaccinating teenagers.”
Chile has already delivered two doses to over 61% of its population according to Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker, a far bigger share than regional peers and also more than richer countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. After battling virus waves earlier this year, the nation is now relaxing restrictions as cases plunge.
Globally, many parents don’t want their children to receive the shots, since their risk of hospitalization and death from the illness is low.
Read more: Chile Relaxes Restrictions for the Vaccinated as Cases Drop Fast
A team from Sinovac is currently in Chile scouting different locations for a possible vaccination plant that would serve the entire region, Yanez said in the interview. “We are also interested in RNA technology plants,” he said.
Chile continues in talks for vaccines with providers including Sinovac, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Sputnik V, Yanez said. Earlier on Wednesday, the country’s Institute of Public Health approved the use of Sputnik V for adults.
To date, Chile has received roughly 18.6 million jabs from Sinovac, 6.1 million from Pfizer-BioNTech, 1.7 million from AstraZeneca and 575,000 from CanSino Biologics Inc., according to data from the presidency’s office. The nation’s total population is about 18 million people.
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