No COVID-19 vaccination for children yet, amid supply shortage: Health ministry

September, 07/2021 - 09:26

The health ministry said they are looking for COVID-19 vaccines, including types that can be used for people below 18 years old, amid calls for inoculation of children as the new schoolyear begins.

 

Student representatives of different schools in Hà Nội participate in the pared-down school year opening ceremony at Trưng Vương Secondary High School on Sunday, the only school in Hà Nội to hold the event in-person for broadcasting purposes, as the capital city is under strict social distancing. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng

HÀ NỘI — The health ministry is looking for COVID-19 vaccines, including types that can be used for people below 18 years old, amid calls for inoculation of children as the new school year begins.

Việt Nam is set to receive 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by April 2022, enough to cover 70 per cent of the population, based on existing agreements, the health ministry noted in a document in response to the Government Office regarding vaccinations of children.

However, despite efforts to get access to vaccine sources, supplies to Việt Nam remain limited and can only meet a fraction of the needs, so it is urging localities to vaccinate priority groups from 18 years old and above – including medical personnel, frontline workers, elderly people, people with underlying health conditions, etc.

When more supplies are available, the health ministry would issue guidelines for vaccination of children below 18 years old.

The Vietnamese health ministry has signed an amendment to the original deal of 31 million doses with Pfizer for another 20 million doses specifically for nine million children between 12-18 years old, to be delivered in the final quarter of the year.

Previously, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính during a meeting on education activities asked the health ministry to look for vaccine supplies to soon allow students to return to in-person learning as many localities in the country are shutting schools amid severe COVID-19 outbreaks.

To date, Việt Nam has received only about 32 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

As of September 5, 21.5 million doses have been administered, with 3.2 million people having been fully vaccinated, according to Health Minister Nguyễn Thanh Long. — VNS

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