A sixth-grade student in northern Quảng Ninh Province being vaccinated against COVID-19 on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo
QUẢNG NINH — Việt Nam kicked off a campaign to inoculate children from five to 11 years old against COVID-19 on Thursday.
The campaign started with the vaccination of nearly 200 sixth-grade pupils in the northern Quảng Ninh Province with Moderna vaccines.
The shipment of the first batch of Moderna vaccines, sponsored by the Australian Government, arrived in Việt Nam on April 8.
The vaccines were transported to the National Institute for Control of Vaccine and Biologicals for quality checks before being moved to Quảng Ninh to vaccinate the children.
The vaccines will be transported to other localities for administration to sixth-graders nationally.
The campaign is one of the activities aimed at raising public awareness of the importance of universal vaccination, particularly during the complicated development of the pandemic.
It also demonstrates the determination of the Party and State in controlling the pandemic, protecting citizens' health and safety, and fulfiling the dual goals of COVID-19 prevention and control with socio-economic development, according to the Ministry of Health, which launched the campaign in collaboration with authorities of Quảng Ninh Province.
Deputy minister Nguyễn Trường Sơn said the vaccination coverage rate for people from 12 years old in Việt Nam was quite high and the country is accelerating the administration of booster shots for the adult population.
With the high rate of vaccination coverage for high-risk groups, Việt Nam has enough conditions to continue expanding the administration of vaccines for children from five to 11 years old, he said, adding that this is one of the key tasks of the health sector in 2022.
The vaccination has significant meaning in protecting children's health in the context of the pandemic, as well as reducing the transmission risk between people in one family or between students and teachers at schools, he said.
It is also aimed at promoting the fulfilment of other social goals, gradually resuming the normal life, he said.
Deputy minister Sơn recommended parents bring their children to be vaccinated in line with the health ministry's guidelines and asked medical workers to take measures to ensure vaccination safety.
He required health departments of localities to prepare to inoculate children aged five to 11 years old as soon as the vaccines are delivered.
In Quảng Ninh, there are 181,197 children aged from five to under 12 years old. The province set a target to vaccinate 95 per cent of eligible children with two jabs.
Nguyễn Thị Hằng, a mother of a sixth-grade pupil in Quảng Ninh Province who got the first vaccine shot on Thursday morning, said she felt a little bit worried before registering for her child. However, after understanding more about the importance of vaccination, she decided to bring her son to the vaccination site to get a jab. She said she would feel more secure letting him go to school and play with friends.
Việt Nam has so far approved two vaccines for use on children aged five to 11, which are Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
The recommended gap between doses is four weeks. For children, both doses must be of the same vaccine.
Around 11.8 million children from 5-11 years old in Việt Nam are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
Việt Nam has so far administered almost 209 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. — VNS