At 9:00 am on February 15, Dr. Pham Quang Thai (Head of the Northern Expanded Immunization Office) consulted online on VnExpress on Covid-19 vaccination for children 5-11 years old.
Readers ask questions here.
Vietnam is implementing safe and flexible adaptation to Covid-19, life has been gradually returning to normal. The most important factor for effective disease control is the coverage of the Covid-19 vaccine. As of February 12, 185.7 million doses were administered nationwide, of which 79.2 million doses were administered in the first injection, 74.7 million doses in the second injection, and the third injection (additional/reinforced injection and basal three-dose) is 31.7 million doses; Immunization for people aged 12 years and over reached 95.5%.
In December 2021, the Prime Minister assigned agencies to research and consult with competent authorities on the plan to vaccinate children from 5 to 11 years old, in order to soon reopen schools in provinces and cities. By January, the Ministry of Health said it had developed a plan, proposing to buy 21.9 million doses of Pfizer vaccine to inject children. Subsequently, the Government agreed to this proposal.
Currently, the Ministry of Health has not announced the specific plan and vaccination time, the number of children aged 5-11 who need to be vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccine. Some schools are polling parents of students in this age group.
Many health experts believe that children 5-11 years old also need to be vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine, reaching the same level of coverage as 12-17 year olds. Vaccination helps children reduce infection, the rate of severe disease when infected with Covid-19, early return to school and normal activities.
However, many parents with children in this age group worry whether or not to vaccinate their children. VnExpress surveyed readers about Covid-19 vaccination for children 5-11 years old, from January 6 to present. As a result, 68% disagreed (out of 199,331 participants), 30% agreed and 2% disagreed. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health said that it had surveyed more than 415,000 parents in 63 provinces, of which more than 60% agreed with the injection, 1.9% agreed, and the rest had other opinions.
Many people believe that children with Covid-19 usually have mild symptoms, and do not need to be vaccinated. Some are concerned that childhood vaccinations may affect their development later in life. There are also people who suggest that vaccination should only be given to children with underlying diseases, with a high risk of becoming seriously ill if they are unfortunate enough to have the disease. Before mass vaccination, it is necessary to conduct scientific research and publish clear results.
Readers’ questions will be answered by Thai doctors in an online consultation on the morning of February 15.