Santiago, Sep 29 : Chile has started vaccinating children aged 6 to 11 against Covid-19 with the CoronaVac vaccine, developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac.
"We are starting a highly anticipated process," said Undersecretary of Public Health Paula Daza at a school in the capital Santiago, where children were getting vaccines, Xinhua news agency reported.
Seven months into the country's mass vaccination campaign, the government decided to expand the immunization drive to minors to curb the pandemic as schools reopened.
"There are 1.5 million children that we hope to vaccinate in different schools," she said on Monday.
"The vaccines are already approved, they are safe and they are effective," she added.
Education Minister Raul Figueroa said parents must give their consent before their children get vaccinated.
According to the latest figures, as of Sunday, 87 per cent of Chilean adolescents aged 16-17, 81 per cent of those aged 14-15, and 57.3 per cent of those aged 12-13 had received their first dose.
Chile's Institute of Public Health (ISP) in early September approved the emergency use of the CoronaVac vaccine for children and adolescents aged 6-17.