Brazil's Health Ministry approves China's Sinovac shot for some children

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Sao Paulo distributes Sinovac's Coronavac vaccine

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's Health Ministry on Friday approved use of Sinovac Biotech Ltd's COVID-19 vaccine, Coronavac, for children ages 6 to 17.

In a news conference announcing the addition of Coronavac to the national vaccination plan, Deputy Health Minister Rodrigo Cruz said the ministry has 6 million doses of the vaccine available, with states and cities having their own stocks.

The Chinese vaccine was tested in Brazil at Sao Paulo's Butantan Institute, a leading biomedical center tied to the state government.

Coronavac received authorization for emergency use in adults in January last year and was the first vaccine to be used in Brazil. Later, however, it was supplanted by other shots and is no longer being used in adults.

Brazil has already authorized the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old.

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Pedro Fonseca and Bill Berkrot)