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Apr 05, 2022 / 20:21

PM requests to inoculate kids aged 5-11 against Covid-19 in second quarter

The vaccination for children aged 5-11 will begin as soon as the vaccines arrive in Vietnam.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has asked the Ministry of Health (MoH) to promptly vaccinate children aged 5-11 against Covid-19 within the second quarter of 2022, according to an announcement released on April 5 by the Government Office.

PM Chinh tasked the MoH with urgently finalizing a master plan on containing Covid-19 that provides details on the number of Covid-19 vaccine doses and proposes a roadmap for mobilizing social resources for the vaccination, the announcement said.

Following their vaccination, the children will begin summer schooling in the beginning of the third quarter, the announcement cited Chinh as saying.

The PM added that the education ministry should collaborate with the health ministry in the vaccination.

 A health worker prepares a Covid-19 vaccine shot in Hanoi. Photo: Hoang Quan

Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen has reported that the first batch of Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 is expected to arrive in Vietnam on May 10.

Tuyen said the vaccines are among the 13.7 million doses Australia has promised to donate Vietnam, including nine million Moderna doses.

Tuyen added that his ministry had negotiated with US company Pfizer to buy vaccines for children, and several embassies in Vietnam including the Australian, Dutch and American have also offered to donate vaccines to Vietnam.

The vaccination for children aged 5-11 will begin as soon as the vaccines arrive, the deputy minister stressed.

While Vietnam has basically vaccinated its population aged 12 and above with at least two Covid-19 vaccine shots, children below 12 have not been vaccinated yet. The country has fully inoculated nearly 80% of its population, including children from 12 years old, with over 51% getting the third shot.

Vietnam started to vaccinate children aged 12-17 in late October, 2021. The Vietnamese Government approved the MoH’s proposal to purchase 21.9 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines for children from 5 to under 12 years old on February 5.  

Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Dinh Tien Dung on April 4 said Covid-19 vaccination for kids below 12 is so important, adding that medical authorities need to rehearse Covid-19 vaccination for children aged 5-11.

“Only with vaccination can we be reassured that if children get infected with the novel coronavirus, it would be mild and there would be fewer risks,” Dung said.

Hanoi has fully vaccinated almost all 660,000 kids aged 12-17 (99%). Students in the age group have already returned to school since February 8.