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Vietnam receives 185,700 5-in-1 vaccine doses funded by WHO, UNICEF

Vietnam receives 185,700 5-in-1 vaccine doses funded by WHO, UNICEF

Friday, July 28, 2023, 14:14 GMT+7
Vietnam receives 185,700 5-in-1 vaccine doses funded by WHO, UNICEF
A shipment of 185,700 doses of lifesaving pentavalent vaccine supported by WHO and UNICEF was delivered to Hanoi on July 27, 2023. Photo: UNICEF

A shipment of 185,700 doses of lifesaving pentavalent vaccine sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was delivered to Hanoi on Thursday.

The shipment was provided to support the Ministry of Health in addressing low vaccination rates and a shortage of the five-in-one vaccine in the country.

Pentavalent vaccine provides children with protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, and haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).

While many vaccines are now produced in Vietnam, the pentavalent jab must be purchased from approved overseas suppliers.

Like every other country in the world, routine immunization services in Vietnam were disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an estimated 114,000 children under one year old in 2022 failing to receive any doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines, all of which are considered the global standard for immunization coverage.

In addition, due to the recent shortage of the vaccine in the country, a rough estimate of 300,000 children born earlier this year have yet to receive this essential shot.

Children who are not vaccinated are at an increased risk of death or ongoing serious illnesses that are easily prevented with the vaccine, like diphtheria.

High numbers of unvaccinated children may result in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. These risks threaten the gains achieved by Vietnam toward reducing child mortality over the past few decades.

It is important that accelerated efforts and bold actions continue to be taken by the Vietnamese government and the Ministry of Health to overcome issues related to vaccine procurement in order ensure that essential vaccines reach every child in a timely fashion.

This is to protect those who are due for vaccination and to ensure that outreach is achieved to all children who missed immunization due to the pandemic.

Rana Flowers, UNICEF representative in Vietnam, said that immunization saves the lives of millions of children around the globe every year.

“The WHO and UNICEF are proud to support efforts to ensure that children across Vietnam who missed their vaccines are urgently immunized, while restoring and further improving immunization services from pre-pandemic levels,” Flowers said.

WHO Vietnam representative Angela Pratt said that the agency will continue to work with UNICEF and other partners to support the Vietnamese government in ensuring that every child in every corner of the country receives routine immunizations, both now and in the future.

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Hong Ngan / Tuoi Tre News


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