COVID-19 vaccinations are carried out for children aged 12-17 at a school in the northern province of Bắc Ninh. — VNA/VNS Photo Thái Hùng
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has ordered the Ministry of Health to make plans to purchase COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5-11 years.
In the latest instructions from the Government leader, the health minister is asked to direct the regular reviewing and updating of the vaccination progress, and take appropriate solutions to ensure sufficient COVID-19 vaccines for all age groups according to the assigned schedule, and is directly responsible before the Party, State and people in performing this task.
After receiving the policy approval from relevant authorities, the health ministry must immediately carry out necessary procedures to buy COVID-19 vaccines for children in the 5-11 age group.
Previously, it was reported that the health ministry was told to draft a plan on vaccination for this age group to be submitted to the Politburo for approval, based on scientific evidence, the outbreak situation in Việt Nam, and real-life practices in other countries.
PM Chính also asked the health minister to work with experts, and coordinate the health authorities with the military to push COVID-19 vaccination.
The health authorities also must raise awareness on the extension of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine expiry dates, a practice approved by the WHO, USCDC and Europe Medicine Agency but poorly explained, resulting in widespread negative reaction among the public in December, especially given that Việt Nam has only been using the shot for children aged 12-17 years.
The Government leader also wants the health ministry to report on the supplies of shots in January, to have all children aged 12-17 vaccinated and adults receiving booster shots in the first quarter of 2022.
To date, Việt Nam with a population of nearly 100 million people, has administered a total of over 152.2 million COVID-19 vaccine shots, including 5.7 million third doses.
As of January 1, about 12.46 million doses have been given to children aged 12-17 years, with first-dose coverage hitting 83.5 per cent and two-dose coverage at 53.4 per cent, a little over two months since the country started the campaign. — VNS