In many countries, only Pfizer vaccine has been approved for people aged 12 to 17. In Vietnam, this vaccine may be also used for children.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has launched a program on vaccinating children which will run with the immunization program for adults.
Dr Pham Quang Thai, who is head of the northern region office of the Vietnam's National Expanded Program on Immunization (NEPI), said Pfizer’s vaccine is the only Covid-19 vaccine used for children in the world so far.
Perhaps other vaccines will apply for licensing for children in Vietnam in the time to come. The Cuban vaccine, for example, has been approved by the Cuban Government for emergency use for children in the country.
Pfizer’s vaccine has been approved for people aged 12-17, and the company is now conducting clinical experiments to for use for children aged below 12.
There is sufficient evidence on the safety of Pfizer’s vaccines for children.
Under MOH regulations, parents or people taking care of children will have to sign a document to agree to have their children vaccinated.
“There has been no report about the possible impact the vaccine may have on genes,” he said.
The vaccine, through the protein synthesis mechanism of some immune cells, produces the S protein, thereby helping the body produce specific antibodies.
Asked about the monitoring of children’s reactions after vaccination, Thai said some cases of myocarditis have been reported after injection. However, the number of cases is very low, and those who suffered from this can be treated.
MOH on October 14 released a document on vaccinating children aged 12-17 which said Vietnam will expand the vaccination program step by step, from higher to lower ages (children aged 16-17 will get vaccinations first, followed by children at lower ages). This will depend on vaccine supply in localities.
The vaccines must be ones approved by MOH for these ages and used with guidance from MOH and manufacturers. Everyone will get two shots of the vaccine.
Children will have a screening examination before injections. They will be shown how to monitor health conditions after injections.
The HCM City Healthcare Department has a plan on vaccinating children aged 12-17 beginning October 22.
The children in the city will get their first shots over a five day period and the second shot will be given over a 15 day period. The time between the two shots will be as recommended by the manufacturers.
Dr Pham Van Phuc from the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases said that research shows that Covid-19 is less dangerous to children than adults and infected children have fewer complications.
Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health announced on October 15 that it is expected to issue a vaccination plan against COVID-19 for those between the age of 12 and 18.