The Ministry of Health has asked localities to prepare for vaccinating children aged 5-11 against COVID-19 from April, using vaccine donated by the Government of Australia.
|Ho Chi Minh City stands ready to vaccinate kids aged 5-11 against COVID-19. – Illustration photo|
The ministry said Australia pledged to donate 13.7 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna to help Viet Nam expand COVID-19 vaccination coverage to children in this age group.
The first 9.7 million doses – 700,000 doses of Pfizer and 9 million of Moderna – will arrive in Vietnam in early April.
The second delivery comprising about 4 million of Pfizer vaccines donated by the Australian Government via the UNICEF, will also arrive in April.
Australia has said they would provide necessary documents for the health ministry to soon give approval for use, and they would also bear all the costs and responsibilities of transport.
After the vaccines arrived in Vietnam and go through quality controls, they would be distributed to localities for administration early next month.
In addition to the COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Australian Government, the ministry is also actively seeking other vaccine sources including from international organizations such as USAID, COVAX Facility and Governments of other countries, to soon secure donation commitments of about 8-10 million doses, ensuring that all children aged 5-11 in Vietnam will receive the full course (two doses).
The ministry has also asked the Government to potentially buy more vaccines after the amount of donated vaccines is known for certain.
Earlier, the Government approved a plan to buy nearly 22 million doses of Pfizer vaccines for children aged 5-11, but reportedly contract issues with Pfizer and donation intentions from various partners have complicated and delayed the process.
Vietnam has basically completed the vaccination of people aged 12 and older, and aiming to wrap up booster shots for adults within the first quarter this year.
Up to 205 million doses of vaccines have been administered in Vietnam (population of 98 million people) to date, with nearly 38 million booster shots in people aged 18 and older.
The Ministry of Health is speeding up procedures aimed at completing its contract with Pfizer to purchase 21.9 million vaccine doses for children aged five to 11 in March.