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Ho Chi Minh City lacks vaccines for national expanded vaccination

Ho Chi Minh City lacks vaccines for national expanded vaccination

Monday, May 15, 2023, 20:17 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City lacks vaccines for national expanded vaccination
Many cities and provinces in Vietnam have found it hard to access vaccines, leading to the national expanded vaccination program slowing down. Photo: Xuan Mai / Tuoi Tre

Many parts of Ho Chi Minh City are seeing the national expanded campaign on immunization slow down due to vaccine supply disruptions.

Most residents in the city have accessed private medical facilities to have their children vaccinated instead of waiting for free vaccinations backed by the government.

Dr. Pham Van Tuan, director of the Healthcare Center in the outlying district of Binh Chanh, said that the center frequently faces a dearth of vaccines for the national expanded vaccination program.

The national expanded program on immunization, which was launched in 1981, is providing children under one year old with vaccinations against 11 vaccine-preventable diseases in Vietnam.

The medical facility is lacking in the 5-in-1 vaccine.

Pentavalent vaccine, or 5-in-1 vaccine, is meant to prevent five common and potentially fatal childhood diseases, including diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type B.

Dr. Tuan said that the vaccines for the expanded vaccination program are administered to residents free of charge, but supplies have been unstable.

The Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control published a list of vaccines out of stock for the expanded vaccination program, including a vaccine against diphtheria and tetanus, the 3-in-1 vaccine against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus, as well as the 5-in-1 vaccine against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, and measles.

A representative of a medical facility in Binh Thanh District said that the facility is facing a scarcity of vaccines for the expanded vaccination program.

The healthcare facility is out of the 5-in-1 vaccine, but the 3-in-1 shot and the vaccine against measles are available. 

Ho Chi Minh City is not the only place with a shortfall of vaccines for the national expanded campaign on immunization, said a representative of the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control.

A woman walks past a healthcare center in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Xuan Mai / Tuoi Tre

A woman walks past a healthcare center in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Xuan Mai / Tuoi Tre

Ho Chi Minh City lacks several types of vaccine

In early May, the Ministry of Health asked the department of health in every province and city to review the number of vaccines left and the demands of vaccination, and submit a report to the local People’s Committees to allocate funds for vaccine purchases.

Starting from 2023, localities are required to use their budget to buy vaccines instead of receiving shots from the Ministry of Health as before.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha on May 11 asked the Ministry of Health to order vaccines and hold a national centralized auction to make life easier for cities and provinces to get the vaccines, ensuring an adequate supply for the expanded vaccination program.

Ho Chi Minh City has long faced a shortfall of vaccines, said Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy head of the municipal Department of Health.

Under the government’s latest directive, the ministry still opens tenders for vaccine packages to smooth the supply chain for the national expanded vaccination program.

This year, the city will need over 672,520 doses of vaccines for the expanded inoculation program. Among them, 123,070 doses of 5-in-1 vaccines are needed.

The city will need more than 880,000 doses of these vaccines for infants in the first half of 2024.

Pham Duy Quang from the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City said that the institute has a list of 27 types of vaccines needed.

Many vaccine suppliers started to deliver the products to the institute on May 13.

The institute was expected to receive 19 of the 27 types on Monday to serve the demands for vaccination in the city.

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Tieu Bac - Xuan Mai - T. Duong / Tuoi Tre News


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