Vietnam on Wednesday started to vaccinate children as part of an effort to restart schools after more than half a time of closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
About teenagers between 16 and 17 years old in Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam were among the first to get the COVID-19 shots before the vaccination program is rolled out nationwide in November, the health ministry said on its website.
During the first phase, Vietnam has only approved the Pfizer vaccine for children. Parents or guardians must sign a consent form for their children to be vaccinated, the report said.
“Vaccination safety for children is the top priority,” health minister Nguyen Thanh Long said during a meeting on Tuesday ahead of the launch. Last week, the ministry approved vaccinations for children between 12 and 17 years old, with aged teens in further populated metropolises entering precedence for the first doses of vaccines.
There are about 14 million Vietnamese children in that age range.
According to the report, children will be vaccinated at their schools and those who don’t attend academy will be vaccinated at pediatric hospitals. About 55 of Vietnam’s 98 million people have entered COVID-19 vaccine shots, but only half of them have been completely vaccinated with both doses.