|A vial of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children being prepared in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Thu Hương|
HÀ NỘI — The National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) has distributed a further 2.4 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children aged six to under 12 years old to provincial and municipal centres for disease controls across the country.
This is the 144th distribution of COVID-19 vaccines since March 2021, and the third batch of vaccines for Việt Nam's campaign of inoculation for children from five to under 12.
This allocation includes 2,304,000 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (in doses of 0.25ml) donated by the Australian Government, bringing the total stockpile of vaccines for young children in Việt Nam to over 4.6 million doses.
The NIHE asks the local health authorities to organise the administration of the allocated number of COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible.
This batch of vaccines have printed expiry date of July 17, 2022, and was being kept between the temperatures of -25 to -15 degrees Celsius at the national vaccine storage centre.
Also last week, the NIHE said Moderna COVID-19 vaccine provided through the COVAX Facility should be used first to vaccinate children to speed up the inoculation for this age group.
In a recent document sent to institutes of hygiene and epidemiology, Pasteur Institutes, health departments and centres for disease control and prevention of cities and provinces, the NIHE requested reviewing the list of children in the group to ensure all eligible children are vaccinated, while there are not enough adults scheduled to receive their booster shots yet.
Institutes of hygiene and epidemiology and Pasteur Institutes should coordinate with local authorities to ensure the effective use of vaccines.
The NIHE decided on March 1 to allocate Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses that were distributed to Việt Nam via the COVAX Facility to inoculate people aged 18 years and above.
However, a number of localities have not used up the shots, prompting the NIHE to seek permission from the COVAX Facility to use for the younger age group. The COVAX Facility has approved the proposal.
Việt Nam has so far approved Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for use on children between five and under 12 years of age, with Moderna for six- to under-12 year-olds.
As of today, more than 1.8 million doses (first shots) have been administered to children in this age group.
A total of 215.68 million doses of vaccines have been given in the country, including 196.48 million doses in the adult population (nearly 40 million of which are boosters) and 17.38 million doses in the children aged 12-17. — VNS