Vietnam to vaccinate all children from 12 against Covid this year

By Le Nga   October 30, 2021 | 12:15 am PT
Vietnam to vaccinate all children from 12 against Covid this year
Students and their parents are consulted before receiving Covid-19 vaccination in HCMC's District 1, October 27, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The Health Ministry hopes to vaccinate all children aged 12-17 with at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot by the end of the year.

The national vaccination campaign for children is set to start next month, first with cities and provinces where all adults have received at least one vaccine shot and more than 80 percent of people aged 50 and above fully vaccinated.

The vaccination campaign for children would be prioritized in areas with persistent outbreaks, undergoing social distancing, with high population density or high infection risks, Duong Thi Hong, deputy director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said Friday.

Vaccination would be prioritized for high school students, before moving onto secondary students. Those who are not studying at school would also be listed for vaccination.

"If enough vaccine is supplied in December and the early months of 2022, we believe both adults and children would be fully vaccinated soon," Hong said.

Ho Chi Minh City, which has fully vaccinated almost 80 percent of its adult population, was the first locality to vaccinate children aged 12-17 against Covid-19. By Friday noon, around 86,000 children had been vaccinated in the southern metropolis, according to the municipal Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Its neighbor Binh Duong has planned to vaccinate 180,000 children, starting with 58,000 aged 15-17 on Sunday and Monday.

Vietnam has approved two types of Covid-19 vaccines, one by Pfizer and the other by Moderna, to vaccinate children aged 12-17.

"As per instructions from manufacturers, the second shot of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine should be around three to four weeks after the first. But we have requested localities and other vaccination stations to give the second dose two to four weeks after the first one," said Hong.

Within the first three days of vaccination, children must always have their families beside them for health monitoring. Consent from parents or guardians are needed for their children’s vaccination.

Vietnam has vaccinated around 55.6 million adults with at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot while 23.4 million have been fully vaccinated.

Children under 18 account for around 17 percent of all Covid-19 infections in Vietnam, according to data from the health ministry.

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