Hà Nội begins vaccinating children against COVID-19, eyeing reopening high schools next month

November 23, 2021 - 15:25
The capital city of Hà Nội on Tuesday commences its COVID-19 inoculation campaign for children 15-17 years old, mostly students, to prepare for resumption of in-person learning.


A student in Phan Huy Chú High School, Hà Nội, received COVID-19 vaccine shot on Tuesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết

HÀ NỘI — The capital city of Hà Nội on Tuesday began its COVID-19 inoculation campaign for children to prepare for the resumption of in-person learning.

The municipal health department allocated 304,140 doses to 30 districts, rural and urban, to give the first jab to children aged 15-17 studying and living in the city.

Đống Đa District received the most with 19,188 doses, followed by Đông Anh with 15,894 doses, Cầu Giấy with 15,665, Ba Vì with 12,414, Nam Từ Liêm with 12,312 doses, Hà Đông with 11,478, and the remaining districts receiving between 5,000-11,000 doses.

The campaign is expected to last two to three days and should finish by Thursday.

The vaccination sites are schools (for students) and health stations (for children who do not go to school or study in other localities). Children with congenital or chronic diseases will receive jabs at hospitals for pre-vaccination check-ups and post-vaccination monitoring.

At 8am Tuesday morning, Nguyễn Hồng Thái, residing in Thanh Xuân District, Hà Nội, brought his son, Ng. T. C (12th grade) to Trần Hưng Đạo High School for the shot. Thái said all adults in the family have received two shots and he’s happy now that it’s the turn of their children.

Vũ Đình Hà, Director of Trần Hưng Đạo High School, told Vietnam News Agency that the school had prepared for the vaccination of 1,875 students in four shifts on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The twelfth graders are inoculated first and so far, none have suffered any adverse reactions.

Two rooms have been made into examination rooms and six rooms for 30 minutes of post-injection observation, with emergency medical staff ready to intervene in case of complications.

Parents who accompanied their children have their own waiting area.

The homeroom teachers and the school’s youth union members are tasked with instructing and directing parents and students to the designated areas and maintaining safe distancing.

Most students said they are glad to have the shots and hope this would enable them to soon go back to in-person learning as fatigue has started to set in after half a year of virtual learning. They also said they welcomed the shots as Hà Nội's coronavirus outbreak is getting complicated with record daily cases seen in recent days.


Students at Trần Nhân Tông High School (Hai Bà Trưng District) wait for the vaccine shots. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng

In the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, Hà Nội will conduct vaccinations for all children aged 12-17. It is expected that 791,921 children will receive vaccine shots – including 519,547 children in 12 and below 16 age group, and 272,374 children in the 16-17 age group.

Should COVID-19 vaccination for children proceeds at the expected pace, high school students in Hà Nội will be allowed to return to school in December, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Education and Training Phạm Xuân Tiến said on Monday.

Tiến added that after that the capital city will start inoculating secondary high school students (12-15 years old).

Ninth graders in the suburban district of Hà Nội were the first to welcome back students to classes after six months of virtual learning, with more suburban districts following suit on Monday.

The northern province of Hải Dương also began vaccinating children today.

Hồng Quang High School in Hải Dương City with 1,500 students was selected as the ‘pilot’ site and reviews of the vaccination efforts here today will be done to make sure the process will go smoothly in other schools in the province.

About 52,650 doses of Pfizer shots have been distributed by Hải Dương health department to be given out as first doses.

As of Monday, 24 localities – Hà Nam, Ninh Bình, Quảng Ninh, Lạng Sơn, Lào Cai, Điện Biên, Đà Nẵng, Khánh Hòa, HCM City, Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu, Đồng Nai, Tiền Giang, Tây Ninh, Sóc Trăng, An Giang, Vĩnh Long, Đồng Tháp, Bình Dương, Kiên Giang, Cà Mau, Bạc Liêu and Hậu Giang – have administered 2.015 million doses of Pfizer shots to children aged 12-17 years old.

This means at 22 per cent of the population in this age group have received at least one dose of vaccine.

HCM City, the first in the country to start the drive, is already beginning to administer second doses. — VNS