HÀ NỘI — 60.6 per cent of parents with children aged 5-11 years said they agree to let their children have COVID-19 vaccine shots, according to a survey by the health ministry.
The survey was conducted as a requirement from the Government in preparation for the rollout of COVID-19 shots for young children, after Việt Nam reached a high coverage rate in the population aged 12 and older.
As many as 415,000 parents in 63 localities of the country were asked for their opinions in this online survey carried out by the Health Strategy and Policy Institute.
Around 60.6 per cent said yes to the vaccines, 7.6 per cent said they would only agree when the shots are mandated, 29.1 per cent said they are considering/undecided, and 1.9 per cent said they disagreed with vaccinating their children.
Việt Nam is set on using Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shots for this age group, with the Government recently approving a decision to purchase nearly 22 million doses of the vaccine.
The rollout likely starts within the first quarter when the vaccines are delivered, but no exact information on the timeline and number of children expected to get the shots have been made available.
Forty four countries in the world have vaccinated children aged 5-11 years against COVID-19, with 75 per cent using the Pfizer shots, according to the health ministry, which is completing procurement procedures with the US pharmaceutical company.
Health minister Nguyễn Thanh Long said vaccination of children aged 5-11 years would be on a recommendation basis and not obligatory, and stressed that safety would be the highest priority.
The health ministry said they would provide fresh training for health workers at all levels on paediatric vaccination, while guidelines will be issued with regards to safe practices and post-vaccination side effects and medical observation, according to Dương Thị Hồng, deputy director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.
The rollout of the vaccines to children aged 5-11 years will be conducted similarly to the past administration of shots to children aged 11-17 years, meaning school-attending children will be vaccinated at their schools, while the remaining have vaccines at local medical stations.
Children with underlying health issues and chronic conditions will have their vaccines at hospitals to guarantee safety.
All information on the vaccination will be made available to parents to raise awareness, boost willingness and allow parents to better accompany health workers in monitoring child health after receiving the vaccines, Hồng noted.
To date, 16.3 million Pfizer vaccine shots have been given to children aged 12-17 years in Việt Nam, including 7.86 million second doses.
Over 95 per cent of children in this age group had received at least one dose of vaccine by the end of January. — VNS