Myanmar kids get first jab of China's Sinopharm vaccine to fight COVID-19

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 12, 2022
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A student receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a school in Yangon, Myanmar, on June 10, 2022. (Xinhua/U Aung)

In a government-run school in the east-central part of Myanmar's former capital Yangon on Friday morning, 7-year-old Htet Nyar Khant, along with his friends, waited to receive his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Despite some of his friends saying they were afraid of needles, Htet Nyar told Xinhua he was brave and ready to get vaccinated. The vaccination was to fight COVID-19, he added.

In the morning, most primary school students wearing white and green uniforms waited in the classrooms or in line outside the vaccination room for inoculation. Teachers and health workers arranged and helped them receive the COVID-19 vaccines.

Yoon Thanda Aung, 11, told Xinhua that she was a little afraid of getting injected, but she was determined to get vaccinated because she was more afraid of COVID-19 infection.

"Schoolchildren aged 5 to 12 are receiving the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine with approvals from their parents and guardians," one of the school teachers said.

According to the health ministry, Myanmar has some 3.62 million school children aged 5 to 12, and they were currently being inoculated with China's Sinopharm vaccine.

About 1 million children aged 5 to 15, who are not attending school, in the country will also be vaccinated against COVID-19, the health ministry said.

"It is not painful and I'm okay," Htet Nyar told Xinhua while he rests after getting the COVID-19 jab.

Kaung Kaung, a 12-year-old from a school in a town in southwest Myanmar's Ayeyarwady region, also received China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine on June 2.

"I was vaccinated against COVID-19 because my mother asked me to do it," Kaung said.

"All of my family members are now inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine," Kaung's 50-year-old mother Thaung Myint said, adding that her youngest son Kaung was the last person in the family to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

"I now feel protected from COVID-19 as everyone in my family receives COVID-19 vaccine," she added.

Myanmar, home to more than 55.6 million people, has been vaccinating children aged 5 to 12 since June 2.

By Friday, more than 2.2 million school children aged 5 to 12 have been inoculated with Sinopharm, the Chinese-made vaccine currently used for the age group, according to the health ministry.

The ministry has stressed the need for all eligible persons to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, saying that data show the rate of deaths from the pandemic could be significantly reduced by vaccination.

The Southeast Asian country has recorded 613,427 COVID-19 cases and 19,434 COVID-19-related deaths since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. A total of 592,401 people have recovered from COVID-19 as of Friday.

More than 27.02 million people in Myanmar have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and more than 2.2 million have received booster shots, official data showed.

Myanmar already administered over 62.25 million doses of COVID-19 to its people as of June 7, it said.

"It is not too much painful, just a little," Yoon told Xinhua after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

"I'm now protected from COVID-19," she added with a smile. 

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