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Students should be vaccinated against COVID-19 to return to school: PM

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has ordered authorities to seek proper vaccine sources and make students a priority group for vaccinations so they can return to school.

The PM made the statement at a national online conference of the education and training sector on August 28.

He requested the Ministry of Education and Training to collaborate with the Ministry of Health to implement the COVID-19 vaccination programme for students.

They will have to access vaccine manufacturers, seek sources of vaccines suitable for people over 12, and work out a plan to prioritise vaccinating students according to their age groups.

Vietnam should have vaccinated students return to school like in other countries, he said.

Leaders of many localities also suggested prioritising vaccinations for students.

According to Nguyen Thị Quyen Thanh, Vice Chairwoman of the People’s Committee of Vinh Long province, 91 percent of teachers in the province have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 44 percent have been fully inoculated.

The students haven’t been vaccinated so they have no other choice but studying online.

This form of learning was not effective, especially for more than 14,000 disadvantaged students, she noted.

She suggested priority should be given for students over 12 to be vaccinated so schools can reopen.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Lich, Vice Chairwoman of the People’s Committee of the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, said it was hard to keep students learning amid school closures in the province due to the socio-economic situation here.

She said she expected a vaccination programme for students so they could return to school and the traditional way of learning.

Vu Dai Thang, Secretary of the Quang Binh Provincial Party Committee, said the pandemic was still developing in a complicated manner with many positive cases recorded in the past three days.

He suggested the Ministry of Education and Training issue guidance so localities could be more flexible and the vaccination programme be made available at schools.

Vietnam has to date received about 28 million doses of vaccines from various sources. The country has administered about 19 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Ho Chi Minh City, currently the hardest hit locality by COVID-19 in Vietnam, has recently announced its plans to vaccinate people aged 12-18 from September if there is a suitable vaccine source./.