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Parent rejects Covid-19 vaccination for U12 child, gets warned

By Le Tan   September 5, 2022 | 03:55 am PT
Parent rejects Covid-19 vaccination for U12 child, gets warned
An 11-year-old boy gets vaccinated against Covid-19 at his school in Quang Ninh Province, April 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Cuong
Tran Phu Ward authorities in Quang Ninh province have "reported" a parent for refusing to let a child under 12 get Covid-19 vaccination despite the health ministry not mandating it.

The administration of Tran Phu Ward in Mong Cai Town issued the warning last Sunday based on the Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, which says one can be warned or fined VND300,000-500,000 ($13-21) for "failing to get or prevent children and pregnant women from getting compulsory vaccines and medical biological products to prevent infectious diseases under the national immunization program."

However, in January this year, the Health Ministry had said that Covid-19 vaccination for children aged 5-11 was not mandatory, only encouraged.

The administration said in a report that ward officials had requested parents of Dao Phu Loc Elementary School to take their children to the medical center in Mong Cai Town for consultation on administering Covid-19 vaccines.

But one parent refused to take the child to the medical center and rejected vaccination.

The parent also refused to sign the warning report, saying that no violation has been committed.

Ho Quang Huy, chairman of Mong Cai, said Monday that the report was only to "record what the parent has done and committed to and a decision for punishment has yet to be taken."

He said ward officials will try to convince the parent Tuesday about getting the child vaccinated.

"Each class has almost 40 students and all of them sit together in a closed, air-conditioned rooms, so the risk of cross-infection is really high. It would be the best if all parents get their kids get vaccinated."

The Quang Ninh Health Department requested districts late last month to boost vaccination progress for children aged five to under 12 to get them ready for the 2022-2023 school year.

The province has 340,000 students from kindergarten to high school.

As of August 30, all children aged 12 to under 18 in the province had got the first shot, 99.88% got the second and 85.9% the third. For children from five to under 12, the vaccination coverage rate for the first dose was 97.06%, with around 5,000 in this age group yet to get vaccinated.

Pham Quang Thai, head of the northern regional office of the National Expanded Program on Immunization, said that children infected with Covid-19 do not develop symptoms as severely as adults, but they may experience permanent sequelae that could affect their physical development.

Many trials have shown that Covid-19 vaccinations for children are safe because the dose is only one-third that of adults, Thai claimed, adding that vaccinating children reduced the risk of community transmission.

 
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