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UNICEF to offer maximum support for Vietnam’s access to COVID-19 vaccines: official

UNICEF Representative in Vietnam Rana Flowers has told the Vietnam News Agency that when COVID-19 vaccines become abundant and are approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for emergency use in children, the UNICEF will do what it can to help Vietnam access suitable vaccines.

She made the statement during an inclusive interview with the State-run news agency on the occasion of the action month for children, which is ongoing under the theme of joining hands to ensure children’s rights and protect children in natural disasters and pandemic.

Vietnamese Government has come up with many child protection measures

Praising the Vietnamese Government’s drastic actions and measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 and to quickly implement its vaccination drive, starting with prioritised groups, Flowers said the Government has made efforts to cooperate with social and international organisations, including UNICEF, to ensure prompt assistance for children against COVID-19-related impacts.

According to her, amid social lockdown and distancing, measures have been implemented to save local children from abuse, violence, accidents and psychological trauma.

The official stated the UNICEF stands side by side with the Vietnamese Government in protecting children and women in all circumstances, helping the nation strengthen its psycho-social support for children and families via capacity building and communications activities on mental health, psychological support and positive parenting skills .

The UNICEF is aiding the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to develop guidelines and training programmes for social workers during the pandemic to ensure that local child protection systems can function properly even during social distancing periods.

Maximum assistance for Vietnam to access vaccine sources

Regarding Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long’s announcement on Vietnam’s wish to buy COVID-19 vaccine to vaccinate children aged 12 – 18, Flowers congratulated the ministry on its successful negotiation for the procurement of 31 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which is affirmed by Pfizer to be safe for teenagers.

She took the occasion to recommend that priority should be given to people at the front of the fight against the pandemic like health workers and vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.

It is necessary to follow the Health Ministry’s 5K message – khau trang (face masks), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distancing), khong tu tap (no gatherings), and khai bao y te (health declarations) – and to ensure that all children are given regular vaccines under the nation’s extended vaccination programme, she concluded./.