Vietnam mulls vaccinating children from 5

By Hoang Thuy   December 5, 2021 | 08:46 pm PT
Vietnam mulls vaccinating children from 5
A medic prepares a Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine shot at a high school in HCMC, October 27, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Sunday requested authorities to look into Covid-19 vaccination for children aged 5 and above.

Chinh requested authorities to look into and seek approval into certain vaccine-related topics, including the possibility to vaccinate children aged 5 and above based on scientific and safety criteria that are suitable for the disease situation in both Vietnam and other countries.

Over 20 countries have vaccinated children aged 3-11, Nguyen Minh Vu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, said at the meeting. The WHO said the pros of vaccinating children aged 3-11 outweigh the cons, while vaccinating elderly people and those with underlying conditions should come first before moving on to children, he added.

Vu said the newly emerging Omicron variant has made the pandemic situation more complex globally. While reports have shown that current vaccines still offer high protection and firms are developing new shots to respond to the variant, countries have been ramping up prevention measures and giving their citizens third doses.

PM Chinh wants all adults to receive two Covid-19 vaccine doses within this year. He ordered health agencies to begin giving third doses to certain groups, prioritizing those aged 50 and above and those at the coronavirus frontline.

Vietnam has been rolling Covid-19 vaccine shots for children aged 12-18 using the Pfizer vaccine. So far, over 3.5 children aged 12-18 have received their shots. Around 0.3 percent experienced common side effects. Three have died due to "overreaction" to the vaccine.

The country has vaccinated 73.3 million people with at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot, and 54.1 million people have received two shots.

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