This image shows a health worker taking samples from a child for COVID-19 testing in Vietnam. Photo: Giang Son Dong / Tuoi Tre
The Vietnamese government has just issued a resolution on the buying of 21.9 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine intended for children from five to under 12 years old.
Pursuant to the resolution, the form of bidder selection in special cases, along with other conditions, will be applied to the purchase of the shots.
The government assigned the Ministry of Health to be in charge of buying the vaccine and organizing the vaccination of children in that age range in a scientific, safe, and effective manner.
The World Health Organization has officially approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for immunizing children from five to under 12 years old, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said.
Currently, 37 countries in the world have made plans for or have started the inoculation of children in that age group, Minister Long said.
Some of these countries have decided to vaccinate all children in the age bracket, while the others have chosen to inoculate only those at high risk of COVID-19 infection.
“In Vietnam, vaccination against COVID-19 has yet to be mandatory, but everyone is advised to be immunized in general,” the minister told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
More than 80 percent of COVID-19 patients who suffered from serious complications or died across the country in the past time had not been vaccinated or had not received full vaccination, the official stated.
By January 26, Vietnam had received 211.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from various sources, including COVAX Facility, contract purchases, and donations, according to the health ministry.
As of Thursday, the country, whose population is around 98 million, had given 79,082,647 first COVID-19 vaccine doses to people nationwide, while the numbers of second and third shots were 74,214,941 and 28,805,374, respectively, the Ministry of Health reported.
Health workers have administered the first vaccine shots to all eligible adults, and 52 out of 63 provinces and cities have reached a second-dose vaccination rate of over 90 percent.
Meanwhile, 8,446,581 first doses and 7,805,801 second jabs have been given to children from 12 to under 18 years old.
Since erupting in Vietnam in early 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has caused 2,327,859 infections, with 2,105,913 recoveries and 38,261 fatalities, the health ministry said.