Ho Chi Minh City authorities began administering COVID-19 vaccine to students with a pilot phase involving approximately 1,500 young recipients in outlying Cu Chi District on Wednesday.
The vaccination site was established at Cu Chi Town Elementary School.
The inoculation process on Wednesday morning was supervised by vice-chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Duong Anh Duc and leaders of the city’s health and education sectors.
During the pilot phase in Cu Chi, about 1,500 students aged 16 and 17 from three high schools in the district will be receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Health workers, teachers, and volunteers were mobilized to guide the young recipients through the process.
The students were divided into groups and asked to sit in queues as they waited for their turn.
A lot of parents also came to the inoculation site to watch over their children.
|A volunteer (L) helps students file health declarations prior to their vaccination in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, October 27, 2021. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre|
Le Ba Hung, 44, said his family has four members, three of whom are over 18 and have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
After hearing the news about inoculation for students, Hung did not hesitate to sign up for his son, who is currently in twelfth grade.
Ha Phuong, 17, shared that she was quite nervous prior to receiving the vaccine.
“My homeroom teacher texted everyone in the class, telling us not to worry too much and pay close attention to our health condition following the immunization,” Phuong added.
|Students wait for their turn to receive their COVID-19 vaccination in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, October 27, 2021. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre|
After the Ministry of Health issued a guideline on COVID-19 vaccination for children on October 14, Ho Chi Minh City is the first locality in the country to carry out such a vaccination campaign.
The southern city plans to immunize about 780,000 children aged 12 to 17 with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
They will be provided with two doses with a three-week interval.
To prepare for the campaign, nearly 4,000 health workers from hospitals and district- and ward-level medical centers underwent an online training session on Tuesday.
|Vice-chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Duong Anh Duc (C) at the vaccination site in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, October 27, 2021. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre|
The municipal authorities selected Cu Chi District and District 1 to carry out the pilot phase.
Authorities in District 1 are expected to start vaccinating 1,600 students at three sites, including Luong The Vinh High School, Ernst Thälmann High School, and District 1 Hospital, on Wednesday afternoon.
Other districts and Thu Duc City will initiate the inoculation drive on Thursday, said Nguyen Huu Hung, director of the city’s Department of Health.
|A health worker prepares to inoculate a student with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, October 27, 2021. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre|
“However, only units that meet all safety conditions required by the health sector are allowed to organize the vaccination, otherwise the process will be postponed,” Hung added.
Ho Chi Minh City has been the biggest epicenter in the country since the fourth outbreak began on April 27, with over 426,800 local cases.
The city of about nine million people had administered over 12.7 million vaccine doses as of Tuesday afternoon, with more than 5.6 million people fully inoculated.
|Students receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, October 27, 2021. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|