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HCMC kick-starts Vietnam’s child vaccination campaign

By Ha An   October 26, 2021 | 11:45 pm PT
More than 1,500 high-school students in HCMC's outlying district of Cu Chi received their first Covid-19 vaccine shot Wednesday.

The district opened one vaccination site at Cu Chi Town Elementary School to vaccinate students aged 16 and 17.

The site is set up near a hospital for medics to quickly respond to any situations that might occur.

Parents or legal guardians showed up along with eligible youths to sign the form of consent as regulated, then waited outside to ensure social distancing in areas for health monitoring before and after inoculation.

As greenlighted by the Health Ministry, Vietnam now uses the Pfizer vaccine to immunize those aged 12-17 against Covid-19. The campaign starts first with 16 and 17-year-olds.

Resting after his shot, Tran Thanh Binh, 17, said his form teachers informed him and his classmates of the vaccination program three days ago after their online class.

"Physically, I feel normal for now. Mentally, I'm comfortable. I hope that after getting fully vaccinated I could return to school soon to see my friends and teachers," said Binh.

Tran Thanh Binh, 17, receives a shot of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in Cu Chi District, HCMC, October 27, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ha An

Tran Thanh Binh, 17, receives a shot of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in Cu Chi District, HCMC, October 27, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ha An

He said he has been staying home and studying online "for way too long [four months]."

A mother named Nguyen Thi Rong, 55, said she and her husband agreed to let their kid get vaccinated soon after the school’s announcement.

"All other four members in the family have already got two injections and it is quite worrisome when the youngest one has yet to be immunized so we did not hesitate," Rong said, adding that the vaccine has been approved by health authorities so she feels secured.

After Wednesday, Cu Chi will open five more vaccination sites to inject 51,000 aged 12 to 17, deputy chairwoman Nguyen Thi Hang said.

Students wait to be vaccinated against Covid-19 at a school in Cu Chi District, HCMC, October 27, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ha An

Students wait to be vaccinated against Covid-19 at a school in Cu Chi District, HCMC, October 27, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ha An

Along with Cu Chi, District 1 also started its child vaccination program Wednesday, making both the first not only in Ho Chi Minh City but in Vietnam to immunize those under 18 against Covid-19.

HCMC plans to vaccinate 780,000 children and teens from 12 to 17.

It will prioritize those aged 16 and 17 and work its way down later.

 
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