A student in Tam Đảo Town, Vĩnh Phúc Province receives a COVID-19 vaccine shot on December 28, 2021. VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — With over 90 per cent of the adult population having received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines and the ongoing campaign for children aged 12-17 years, the health ministry is planning to buy shots for children aged 5-11.
Deputy health minister Đỗ Xuân Tuyên said the ministry has developed a plan to inoculate young children in this age group and has submitted the plan to the Government.
Once the Government gives the nod, it would immediately work with suppliers to secure a sufficient amount at the earliest time to get the vaccination process started, Tuyên said during a recent discussion hosted by the Việt Nam Government Portal, without elaborating further about the types of vaccines to be used or the logistics involved.
Việt Nam, with a population of about 100 million people, as of January 2 has received 195 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including 68 million as aid, out of the committed 227 million doses.
Over 155 million doses have been administered so far.
Seventy-four per cent of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine (99 per cent of adults have had at least one dose), and 70 per cent have been fully vaccinated, basically meeting the WHO's recommendations six months ahead of schedule.
In 2022, Tuyên said the health ministry will focus on offering third shots for high-risk groups like patients with HIV, kidney failure, hepatitis B, cirrhosis, etc. in addition to pushing coverage of vaccines for children, now that the country has enough doses needed for the adult population.
The health official noted that in the inoculation efforts for children, the role of parents is important in bringing their children to get the shots in line with the health ministry's guidelines.
Tuyên said the current vaccination progress along with plans for additional/booster shots will help to ensure the success of the Government's safe, flexible adaptation to and effective control of the COVID-19 pandemic – meant to be a mindset shift from the previous so-called Zero COVID strategy – to achieve both pandemic prevention and control and socio-economic development.
In a COVID-19 report which the Government submitted to the National Assembly during the ongoing extraordinary session, it says efforts are being made to ensure no people above 50 years or people with underlying health issues remain unvaccinated, complete the administration of second doses for children aged 12-17 in January 2022, and third doses for adults within the first quarter of the year.
Deputy foreign minister Nguyễn Minh Vũ said vaccine diplomacy was a highlight, given that the vaccine shortage has still been an issue, especially during the times of outbreaks, contributing to Việt Nam's high vaccination rate. — VNS