|A medical worker prepares a vaccine shot. Việt Nam will start to inoculate children under 12 years old from April 14. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The COVID-19 vaccination campaign for children aged 5 to below 12 will begin on Thursday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said at a press conference on Wednesday.
The first batch of vaccines administered to children aged 5 to below 12 will be Moderna vaccines, sponsored by the Australian Government. The shipment arrived in Việt Nam on April 8.
The vaccines will be transported to the National Institute for Control of Vaccine and Biologicals for quality checks before moving to northern Quảng Ninh Province on Thursday to be administered to sixth-grade pupils there.
The vaccines will also be transported to other localities for administration to sixth-graders nationally.
"Please bring your children to vaccination sites only when they are healthy," said Dương Thị Hồng, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.
"If they have symptoms of COVID or feel tired, don't bring them for vaccination. Parents must disclose all of their children's medical conditions to medical workers at the site before administration.
"Parents are also advised to listen carefully to medical workers' advice and warnings, leave their children to stay at the site for at least 30 minutes post-vaccination, and report and update the children's medical status to a medical worker."
The two vaccines approved for use on children aged five to below twelve in Việt Nam are Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
The recommended gap between doses is four weeks. For children, both doses must be of the same vaccine.
"We have 11.8 million children from 5-12 years old eligible for COVID-19 vaccination," said Phan Trọng Lân, Director of the MOH General Department of Preventive Medicine.
"3.6 million of these children have recovered from COVID-19 and will be vaccinated three months later."
Very common side effects of the Moderna vaccines include lymph node swelling, headaches, nausea, muscle and joint pains, injection site pain, chills, fevers, swelling and/or rashes at the injection site, according to the ministry.
Common side effects are diarrhoea, rashes, and dermographic urticaria at injection sites.
Less common side effects include dizziness, whereas heart muscle inflammation is very rare after the Moderna vaccine.
Vaccination campaign for former COVID patients continues
The Ministry of Health on Wednesday urged all authorities to continue the COVID-19 vaccination campaign for adults. This includes administering booster doses and initial doses and administration for people who have been infected but recovered from COVID-19.
The decision was made after recommendations from experts and international health organisations in the online webinar on Vaccination for Former COVID patients, organised earlier in 2021.
For children aged 5 to below 12 who have recovered from COVID-19, their vaccine administration will be delayed for three months. — VNS