Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on December 5 asked the Ministry of Health and relevant agencies to examine the possibility of giving children aged 5 and above vaccine shots against COVID-19.
The vaccination for children must be carried out on the basis of scientific evidence, safety, and suitability with pandemic developments in Vietnam and the practice in other countries, he said at a meeting on COVID-19 vaccine and drug imports and production held in Hanoi on December 5.
The government leader noted that Vietnam has drastically implemented the vaccine strategy and achieved encouraging results. However, the latest developments of the outbreak domestically and globally, especially the resurgence of the mutated variant Omicron forced countries to reconsider COVID-19 prevention and control measures.
He requested localities to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations, including those for children of different age groups, and ensure a sufficient supply of medications for COVID-19 treatment.
All people aged 18 and above must receive their second vaccine shot by December at the latest, the PM ordered, adding immunization for children aged 12 – 17 should be accelerated while preparations for the third shot must be underway, with priority to be given to people aged 50 and older and frontline forces.
According to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu, the recent appearance of mutated variant Omicron in a number of countries and territories has made the pandemic more complicated and unpredictable. However, he said the protective efficacy of licensed vaccines remains high and vaccine manufacturers are continuing their research to further improve the protective efficacy of vaccines.
Amid Omicron threats, many countries have now reinstated drastic prevention measures and deployed the third vaccine shot campaign. More than 20 countries have inoculated children aged 3 – 11.
The World Health Organisation has recommended that the benefits of vaccination for children aged 3-11 outweigh the risks, however, priority should be given to the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.
As of December 3, Vietnam had received more than 150 million doses of vaccines, of which nearly 71.5 million doses were imported and more than 79 million doses were donated by countries worldwide.
To date more than 127 million vaccine doses have been administered nationwide, with 54 million people getting their second shot.