Further investment in new generation vaccines urged

VietNamNet Bridge – More investment should be made to replace old generation vaccines and improve health officers' skills and preservation equipment.

Immunisation, old generation vaccines, hepatitis B vaccine

The opinion was voiced by health experts at a conference on the use of safe, effective and quality vaccines on Wednesday.

PhD Do Sy Hien, director of Public Health Research and Consultancy Centre, said Viet Nam's National Expanded Program on Immunisation was still using old-generation vaccines which were suspended in other countries and subject to a warning by the World Health Organisation.

It may have reduced effectiveness and cause side-effects such as fever, pains or other serious reactions, he said.

However, the State budget for vaccinations was currently meeting just 30 per cent of the country's demand and the rest depended on international assistance, he said.

Experts suggested it was necessary to boost investment in importing new-generation vaccines and improving the quality verification of vaccines.

PhD Dinh Kim Xuyen said health staff needed to take care of babies within 30 minutes of injecting them and give guidance to parents to pay attention to their babies for 24 hours to detect abnormal symptoms.

However, many failed to do these simple professional procedures, he said.

Nguyen Nhat Cam, director of the Ha Noi Centre for Preventive Health Care, agreed and said the capability of health staff in giving vaccine shots for children should be also be improved.

Besides, the equipment to preserve and transport vaccines should be ensured because this was one of the main reasons for the quality of vaccines to depreciate.

Statistics of Ha Noi's Health Department in the first six months showed health staff in nearly 40 per cent of 100 vaccination centres failed to give vaccine shots in the right way and 30 per cent of these centres had no appropriate preservation equipment.

In some centres, health staff failed to make health checks on children before vaccinating.

More than 90 per cent of pregnant women and children in the country receive vaccinations. However, about 20 children in the country have died after getting vaccinations in the past two years.

Hepatitis B vaccines to be increased

The Ministry of Health allows the hepatitis B vaccine to be used in the National Expanded Program on Immunisation, according to the ministry's Preventive Health Department on Wednesday.

Nguyen Van Binh, director of the department, said the decision was made to protect babies' health.

Parents were advised to get their children vaccinated as scheduled because this was the most effective way to prevent them from infectious diseases, he said.

On Tuesday, the ministry claimed that three new-born babies in central Quang Tri Province who died last Saturday after being vaccinated against hepatitis B were victims of anaphylactic shock.

Source: VNS

Immunisation, old generation vaccines, hepatitis B vaccine