Deputy health minister Nguyễn Trường Sơn (second from left) along with representatives from Quảng Ninh Province observes the administration of COVID-19 vaccines to 200 sixth graders in Hạ Long City as Việt Nam rolled out vaccination for young children on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo Văn Đức
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese Government has agreed with the Ministry of Health on the receiving of COVID-19 vaccines donated by foreign governments and supplied by international organisations for children aged from 5 to under 12 years old.
Under Resolution No. 55/NQ-CP signed by Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam, the Government has authorised the health ministry to, based on the COVID-19 pandemic situation, vaccination progress and vaccine sources, decide the quantity of vaccines to be received from donors or to be bought, thus ensuring the progress, safety and efficiency of vaccinations while preventing an abundance or shortage of vaccines in all circumstances.
In case the commercial purchase of vaccines for children is necessary, the health ministry should proactively decide and bear the responsibility on the volume, time and vaccine types to be bought in accordance with vaccination progress, and report to the Prime Minister, the resolution said.
According to the resolution, the Government has also agreed to let the Prime Minister allow the selection of bidders in special cases as prescribed in Article 26 of the Bidding Law, with similar conditions stated in the Government's resolutions on purchasing COVID-19 vaccines for adults.
The health ministry will also bear the responsibility to receive donated vaccines, buy vaccines and organise COVID-19 vaccination activities for children from 5 to under 12 in a reasonable, safe, scientific and effective manner, while ensuring progress.
The Vietnamese health ministry was originally given emergency authorisation for Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5-12, and planned to buy up to 22 million doses from the company to use in the inoculation campaign.
The plan however has been changed as some countries and organisations – including Australia and USAID – have expressed intent to donate paediatric vaccines to Việt Nam.
Australia has pledged to provide 7.2 million doses of paediatric vaccines to Việt Nam, with the first batch of one million Moderna doses already arriving and used in the inoculation which started on Thursday.
HCM City to vaccinate children from April 16
HCM City will start vaccinating children aged five to 11 against COVID-19 today, according to its Department of Education and Training.
Children attending schools will receive their jabs at school or other locations decided by their school and local health authorities.
Those not attending school will get them at vaccination sites in various places in the city.
Hospitals where children are admitted, including from other provinces, will vaccinate them right there.
The vaccination sites need to ensure distancing and have waiting areas for parents, and children’s vaccination status should be quickly updated on the national database, according to the city's instructions.
According to the city Department of Education and Training, the parents of 77.6 per cent of the city’s children have given their consent for the immunisation.
Schools have been making an effort to convince parents by apprising them about the benefits of vaccination and the strict protocols that will be followed.
Nearly 899,000 kids will get the shots.
According to the health ministry, there are 11.8 million children in this age group, with 8.2 million to be immunised by the end of the second quarter. The remaining 3.6 million children who have contracted COVID-19 already will receive their shots three months after their recoveries. — VNS