The number of people who desire to be vaccinated against rabies at a major health center in Ho Chi Minh City has increased dramatically during the past recent days, as the metropolis faces a shortage of vaccines against the disease.
Many have flocked to the Vaccination Center for Children and Adults (VNVC) in Phu Nhuan District in order to be injected with rabies vaccines, said Bach Thi Chinh, a doctor at the facility.
They are residents in the city or come from neighboring provinces like Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An, or even from as far afield as An Giang and Kien Giang in the Mekong Delta.
On April 5, 76 people arrived at the center for rabies vaccination, compared to only 30 to 50 patients on normal days, according to VNVC figures.
The rise is attributable to the large-scale insufficiency of vaccines as of April 4 in many other medical locations.
The visitors include not only those with pet bites but also those of regular exposure to animals like veterinarians, students in veterinary science, and people keeping multiple dogs.
The shortage of vaccines poses a problem for patients having received shots of one type earlier as they may need to switch to a different one at the risk of medicinal incompatibility.
VNVC has both the India-produced Abhayrab and France-made Verorab vaccines available, with the latter highly recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Caution should be taken when the former is used as its generation of birth defects has not been definitively proved or disproved.