Hanoi is now desperately lacking in Pentaxim shots for the prevention of five diseases among children, including diphtheria (D), tetanus (T), pertussis (P, whooping cough), hepatitis B (HepB), and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).
Of the total 142,000 doses of the 5-in-1 vaccine imported into Vietnam till December 25, the capital city was allocated only 15,120 shots – just one-ninth of the quantity.
It is far less than the current demand in Hanoi and jostling occurred at the Polyvac inoculation site located at 182 Luong The Vinh Street on Friday, prompting officials to stop the vaccination service there.
Parents of around 500-600 children flocked to the site to elbow one another for 70 doses of the Pentaxim vaccine.
A local hospital that has 1,800 children waiting for the vaccine is granted 700 doses.
Nguyen Khac Hien, director of the Hanoi health department, said the Ministry of Health has promised to grant the city an additional 20,000 doses in January, excluding another batch of 28,000 shots to be transferred to Hanoi on December 31.
Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of the Pentaxim vaccine, said its representative office in Vietnam had planned early this year to supply Vietnam with 45,000 – 50,000 doses, but it has handed over 200,000 shots to the nation so far this year.
Coping with the scarcity of the 5-in-1 vaccine in Vietnam, many parents have taken their children to hospitals in Singapore for inoculation despite higher costs.