Update: 16:34 | 14/04/2022
160 sixth graders in the northern Quang Ninh were the first in the 5-11 age group to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in Vietnam on Thursday.
The students of Tran Quoc Toan Secondary School in Ha Long were vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine donated by the Australian government.
A sixth-grade student receives a Covid-19 vaccine shot in Quang Ninh, northern Vietnam, April 14, 2022.
All classrooms on the school's first floor have been used as vaccination sites, divided into separate areas for pre-vaccination checkups, vaccination and post-vaccination monitoring.
After getting their shots, the students were monitored for 60 minutes instead of the usual 30 minutes for adults.
Pham Tam An, 11, said she felt nothing unusual 30 minutes after she received her shot.
"I'm happy to be vaccinated because it would protect me, allowing me to enjoy activities freely, especially as summer's coming," she said.
Phan Thi Hao, 46, brought her son Trieu Huu Phuoc to the school for vaccination Thursday morning. She said she and her husband already received their third Covid-19 vaccine shots, so when they had Covid-19 recently, they only suffered mild symptons.
"I know many children who are a little older than my son have got vaccinated and have been fine, so I'm not worried. When my son is vaccinated, a Covid-19 infection might be mild," Hao said.
Nguyen Trong Dien, director of the Quang Ninh Department of Health, said the province has around 181,190 children aged 5-11 eligible for vaccination. 39,953 of them will have their vaccination suspended as they were already infected with Covid-19 within the last three months.
The province will prioritize areas with high populations of children, many large events and socio-economic and tourism activities like Ha Long. Sixth graders, the oldest in the age group, are prioritized before moving down to younger children.
99 percent of people aged 12 and above have been fully vaccinated in Quang Ninh, and 95.86 percent of adults have received their third Covid-19 vaccine shots.
Hanoi is expected to follow Quang Ninh's lead in vaccinating children aged 5-11 against Covid-19, said Ninh Van Chu, director of the Quang Ninh Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Other cities and provinces will follow suit next week, he said.
Vietnam has fully vaccinated 80.1 percent of its population, and 53.3 percent of the population have received their third Covid-19 vaccine shots.