Shortages and new exchange rate among reasons for higher prices.
The price of a range of vaccines is set to increase shortly. The typhoid vaccine, for example, will rise from the existing VND135,000 to VND185,000 while the 5 in 1 vaccine will go up from VND485,000 to VND629,000.
Mr. Nguyen Nhat Cam, Director of the Hanoi Preventive Medicine Center, confirmed the center has received advice that vaccine prices would increase by 5 to 10 per cent, including those for typhoid, chickenpox, and meningitis.
The increase is primarily a supply and demand issue. According to Mr. Cam, the center exhausted its supply of 5 in 1 vaccine in August and 6 in 1 early in the year. “It is expected that new batches of the 5 in 1 vaccine will be imported at the end of October but we don’t know at this stage,” he was quoted as saying.
He also believes that the change in the exchange rate has played a role in the price increase. Like many products in Vietnam, he added, the price of vaccine rises quite regularly.
Ms. Dang Hong Thuy, Director of the Hong Thuy Company, which imports the 5 in 1 vaccine in the north, said that over recent years the company has not increased its prices even when there have been shortages. The situation is different now, however. “Previously, when Vietnam had just opened up its market, manufacturers followed a policy of offering 10 per cent discounts,” she was quoted as saying. “Now the market has grown and suppliers have run out of vaccine, they no longer offer discounts and must also adjust their prices.”