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Australia presents 490,600 5-in-1 vaccine doses to Vietnam

Australia presents 490,600 5-in-1 vaccine doses to Vietnam

Thursday, December 14, 2023, 16:02 GMT+7
Australia presents 490,600 5-in-1 vaccine doses to Vietnam
Vietnam’s Minister of Health Dao Hong Lan (L, 5th) receives 490,600 doses of the 5-in-1 vaccine from Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski (L, 6th). Photo: T.Minh / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam now can replenish its empty stockpile of the 5-in-1 vaccine, as 490,600 doses of the jab sponsored by the Australian government in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are set to arrive in the country on Friday.

A ceremony to hand over the said amount of vaccine doses to Vietnam was held at the headquarters of Vietnam’s Ministry of Health on Thursday morning.

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

In Vietnam, the 5-in-1 vaccine is given to babies between two and below 18 months old, according to the health ministry.  

Earlier, the ministry had sought supplies of the vaccine from some international organizations in an attempt to ease the country’s shortfall of the pentavalent vaccine to serve its national expanded program on immunization.

The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) had mapped out plans to allocate this batch of vaccine doses to localities nationwide based on their needs and order of priority, said Duong Thi Hong, deputy head at the NIHE.

Children who have not previously got their first shot of the vaccine will be administered first, with babies at two months old being prioritized, followed by older ones.

The NIHE will also prioritize sending the vaccine doses to mountainous and underprivileged regions to ensure equal access to the vaccine, the health official said.

Hoang Minh Duc from the ministry’s General Department of Preventive Medicine urged the NIHE to appraise the vaccine batch within one week.

Children subject to the national expanded program on immunization are expected to get these vaccine doses in the final week of this month, Duc said, asking medical facilities throughout the country to make preparations to receive the shots and start the vaccination campaign in their respective areas safely and effectively.

Medical facilities under this expanded immunization program are able to administer some 200,000 doses of the vaccine each month.

Hence, the vaccine doses donated by the Australian government could be used in around 2.5 months.

Launched in 1981, the national expanded program on immunization in Vietnam is providing immunization against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases, namely tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, Hib, measles, rubella, Japanese encephalitis, cholera, and typhoid.

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Hong Ngan - Duong Lieu / Tuoi Tre News

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