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Feb 06, 2022 / 15:17

Vietnam to buy 20M Pfizer vaccine doses for children aged 5-11

Vaccination against Covid-19 in Vietnam is not compulsory but people are warned of severe consequences when being infected with the virus if they are unvaccinated or got a single dose.

The Government of Vietnam has agreed to buy 21.9 million doses of Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine for children of 5-11 years of age.

 Vaccinating for children aged 12-17 in Hanoi in November 2021. Photo: Khanh Huy/ The Hanoi Times

The purchase is subject to the form of contractor selection in special cases, in which the government is empowered in deciding the pandemic-related issues.

Vaccinating children aged 5-11 is part of the government’s efforts to reopen schools after year-long and month-long closure in many parts of the country.

Earlier, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh emphasized the need to bring children back to school for the sake of pupils. To date, the country has finished vaccinating children aged 12-17.  

Regarding the vaccination for children of that group, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the ministry has contemplated the advantages and consulted with the World Health Organization (WHO) about the pros and cons.

So far, WHO has approved Pfizer vaccine for the group and more than 20 countries namely Brazil, Bahrain, Canada, Cuba, Chile, Italy, Israel, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Spain, UAE, the US have carried out the inoculation campaign.

For such a group, taking vaccines or not remains voluntary but warnings stated that more than 80% of critical cases and fatalities are unvaccinated or single dosed, local media quoted Long.

In October 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine for the prevention of Covid-19 to include children 5 through 11 years of age.

The authorization was based on the FDA’s thorough and transparent evaluation of the data that included input from independent advisory committee experts who overwhelmingly voted in favor of making the vaccine available to children in this age group.

The effectiveness of the vaccine shows that immune responses of children 5 through 11 years of age were comparable to those of individuals 16 through 25 years of age. In addition, the vaccine was found to be 90.7% effective in preventing Covid-19 in children 5 through 11.

There is a remote chance that the vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the vaccine. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face and throat, a fast heartbeat, a bad rash all over the body, dizziness, and weakness.

The duration of protection against Covid-19 is currently unknown.