Authorities in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho are verifying reports that 57 children have been given COVID-19 vaccine shots in the locality.
The medical center in Can Tho’s Thot Not District organized inoculation at a middle school on August 18, according to documents collected by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
A total of 362 people were vaccinated with their first Pfizer-BioNTech shot at the site on this day.
Among them, 57 are under 18 years old, and the youngest is 12 years old.
During the inoculation on September 4, many of these young individuals were also provided with their second Pfizer-BioNTech jab.
Le Thi Thuy Hang, chairwoman of the Thot Not People’s Committee, stated that local officials are verifying this information and will announce the result in the coming days.
On Monday, a Facebook user posted a status saying that a health worker and her family members, including a 13-year-old niece, had been fully inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Thot Not District.
The post stirred up public concern as authorities in Can Tho and Vietnam in general have yet to issue any guideline on COVID-19 vaccination for people under 18 years old.
Nguyen Kim Hai, director of the Thot Not District Medical Center, confirmed the information later the same day, adding that three other children in the district had also received the jabs.
Hai said these children are family members of frontline workers, adding that there was no personal gain behind this.
The official was suspended on Tuesday over the administering of a COVID-19 vaccine shot to an under-18-year-old person without consulting the local steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control.
Everyone has the right to receive vaccination, but certain target groups must be prioritized due to limited vaccine supply, according to Tran Viet Truong, chairman of the Can Tho City administration.
Truong said he has ordered local authorities to follow the directions of the municipal steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control in order to prevent similar incidents from happening.
Vietnam has so far gathered almost 37 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.
Health authorities aim to immunize at least two-thirds of a population of nearly 98 million people against COVID-19 by the first quarter of next year.