Following a similar case in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi's supply of vaccines is becoming dangerously low.
The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) has announced a shortage of many types of vaccines in Hanoi, including the “5 in 1” Pentaxim vaccine, which prevents diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Hib bacterial diseases, and the “6 in 1” Hexa vaccine, which prevents diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Hepatitis B and Hib bacterial diseases.
Supplies of the “4 in 1” Tetraxim and the “3 in 1” Adacel vaccine are now exhausted. NIHE has still provided rare vaccines over the last few months, using the free “5 in 1” Quinvaxem vaccine, which is produced by South Korea, from the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI).
Mr. Tran Dac Phu, Head of the Department of Preventive Medicine, said that the shortages began last year due to reductions in supply and he predicted they will remain until the end of the year.
Many families have been waiting for vaccines and many children have become sick as a result, especially from pertussis. One-hundred and fifty children with pertussis are being treated at the National Hospital of Pediatrics, with most not being fully vaccinated.
“Essential vaccines preventing dangerous diseases for children are provided in the EPI, such as tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, and Japanese encephalitis B,” said Mr. Phu. “Families need to take their children to vaccination points at communes and wards for advice on immunization, to ensure effective disease prevention.”