|Students in the southern province Bạc Liêu receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health is calling on local authorities to continue administering COVID-19 vaccines as coverage lags in several localities.
In an official document sent by Deputy Health Minister Nguyễn Thị Liên Hương to the people's committees of provinces and cities it was noted that, to date, 261 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered to Việt Nam's population of 98 million people.
The third and fourth dose coverage for people over 18 years is at 78.5 per cent and 81.3 per cent.
Third-dose coverage for children from 12-18 years has reached 62 per cent.
So far, 88.9 per cent of children aged five to 11 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 62.1 per cent have completed the primary course of two doses.
In Việt Nam, only the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna are cleared for use in children.
Deputy Minister Hương said that while many localities have "basically completed" the inoculation for many groups of people as per the health ministry's guidelines, there remain some localities where inoculation progress has not hit the target – especially the administration of the third vaccine dose for children in the 12-18 years age group and the administration of the second dose for children aged five to under 12 years.
"To urgently complete vaccination targets under the direction of the Government and the Prime Minister, increase the coverage of COVID-19 vaccine for target groups, and maintain the effectiveness of the vaccines' immunity, the Ministry of Health asked the people's committees of provinces and cities to direct relevant units to further accelerate the vaccination against COVID-19, ensuring safety and the effective use of distributed vaccines," the document noted.
The people's committees of provinces and cities also need to direct the health departments to coordinate with the education and training departments and relevant units to quicken COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 5 to under 18 years – especially in reviewing and making a list of eligible students for vaccination.
The local departments of information and communications are asked to coordinate with health departments and related units to continue communicating and urging people to receive the vaccines – with special attention paid to injections of the third dose for people aged 12 years and older, the fourth dose for people aged 18 years and older in the high-risk group according to the ministry's guidance, and injection of full two doses for children aged 5 to 11 years old.
According to the health ministry, although the COVID-19 situation is still under control, the Omicron strain has prevailed in some provinces and cities, and cases of infection with sub-variant BA.4, BA.5 and BA.2.75 have been registered. — VNS