Ho Chi Minh City to start vaccinating children against COVID-19 this weekend

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Ho Chi Minh City to start vaccinating children against COVID-19 this weekend

First graders wear face masks in a classroom in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Health authorities in Ho Chi Minh City are expected to begin providing COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to under 12 on the weekend.

A representative from the municipal Department of Health told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Thursday that the city will initiate the vaccination drive on Saturday, making it the second locality in Vietnam to administer the shots to children aged five to below 12.

Northern Quang Ninh Province started the inoculation drive on Thursday morning.

Health authorities in Ho Chi Minh City will first inoculate sixth graders in all districts and Thu Duc City.

Regarding the remaining children in this age range, health workers will carry out a pilot phase in District 1, District 5, District 10, Phu Nhuan District, and Tan Phu District before organizing mass vaccination next week, depending on the number of available doses.

The Ministry of Health is anticipated to allocate about 87,500 vaccine jabs to Ho Chi Minh City for the inoculation of children in this age range.

Meanwhile, about 700,000 to 900,000 children have been registered for the inoculation, according to reports from the Department of Education and Training, the Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs, and district-level authorities.

The health department was scheduled to convene a teleconference with district-level administrations and medical centers on Friday to discuss details of the immunization campaign.

Previous statistics showed that as of April 7, 77.58 percent of parents of children aged five to under 12 in the city had agreed to vaccinate their kids against COVID-19.

Vietnam has about 11.8 million children aged five to below 12, according to Phan Trong Lan, head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health.

Those who have contracted COVID-19 are advised to wait for three months to receive the vaccine, Lan continued.

About 8.2 million children in this age range have not been infected with the disease, the official said, adding that the health sector will try to fully vaccinate these children within the second quarter of this year.

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