|A medical worker prepares a Pfizer vaccine shot. —VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has reached an agreement with Pfizer to set out an estimate and a bidding plan, with the aim to bring 7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for children to Việt Nam this month, and the remaining 14.9 million in the fourth quarter, Deputy Minister Đỗ Xuân Tuyên said on Thursday.
Speaking at the Government’s regular press conference, Tuyên said the Government had issued a resolution on the purchase of the vaccine doses, to be administered to 11.8 million children aged from 5 to 11.
Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has also allowed the ministry to buy the vaccines under a special mechanism in line with Article 26 of the Bidding Law.
The ministry has closely coordinated with the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education and the Ministry of Education and Training to consult public opinion, especially parents with children.
About 95 per cent of people approved the vaccination for children, he said.
Given the surge of COVID-19 infections triggered by the Omicron variant, Tuyên called on people to seriously observe prevention and control regulations, adding that it was still too early to consider COVID-19 a seasonal flu.
Localities should evaluate the pandemic situation to decide on reopening schools or resuming tourism and economic activities while conducting vaccinations and stepping up communication work on COVID-19 prevention, he said.
More COVID cases in children
The Ministry of Health has reported that the number of children contracting coronavirus has kept increasing, particularly those under 12 years old, accounting for 24.3 per cent of the total number of COVID-19 patients confirmed in the country so far.
The figure was 14.1 per cent before February.
While most infected children have no or mild symptoms, 4 per cent have symptoms that can worsen, particularly during day five to eight of infection, according to experts.
There are many cases of long-COVID symptoms, including post-COVID complications and some serious but rare multisystem inflammatory syndrome cases. — VNS