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Health Ministry approves use of Moderna vaccine for children

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Ministry of Health has approved using the Spikevax Covid-19 vaccine, also known as Moderna, to vaccinate children aged between 12 and 17 in Vietnam, making it the second vaccine for children in this age group after Pfizer, said Duong Thi Hong, deputy head of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.

At an online training course on the vaccination of children across all cities and provinces on October 29, Hong said the vaccination campaign for children would be conducted nationwide next month, beginning with children at 16 and 17 years of age and then expanded to younger children.

The vaccination campaign for children will be launched firstly in places that are practicing social distancing, have a high coronavirus transmission risk and a high population density.

According to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, localities should vaccinate children at fixed and mobile vaccination venues and schools.

As for students, the vaccines will be prioritized for high school students before moving onto secondary students. Children who do not go to school will also be listed for vaccination.

Parents or guardians are required to give written consent for the vaccination of their children, check their children’s health before receiving the vaccine and monitor their health after the vaccination.

Professor Dang Duc Anh, head of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said the vaccination of children was important to protect them from the pandemic and achieve herd immunity.

The Pfizer vaccine has been administered to children aged between 12 and 17 in 36 countries. On October 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that the vaccine could be used for children in this age group.

Meanwhile, the Moderna vaccine has been approved for use by children in Europe.

In Vietnam, HCMC is the first locality to administer the Pfizer vaccine to children. Some 86,000 children in the city have been vaccinated as of October 29.

The Ministry of Health expected all children aged between 12 and 17 nationwide to get at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot this quarter.

If Covid-19 vaccines are supplied sufficiently in December and the first months of next year, both adults and children are expected to receive two vaccine shots soon, Hong added.

Although the Pfizer vaccine producer recommended that the interval between two doses should be three to four weeks, Hong said the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology required four weeks for children.

Localities with a low vaccination rate of people aged 18 and above will continue prioritizing the vaccines for these people. Only provinces which have administered the first doses to all residents and the second doses to over 80% of residents aged 50 and above will begin vaccinating children.

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