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Health worker keeps half of baby vaccine

Update: May, 11/2013 - 09:56
Parents of small children in the city are worried about the possible misuse of vaccines in Ha Noi after a local health worker was found to retain part of a vaccine shot while injecting a child.— Photo dantri

HA NOI (VNS)— Parents of small children in the city are worried about the possible misuse of vaccines in Ha Noi after a local health worker was found to retain part of a vaccine shot while injecting a child.

The vaccine was to prevent diphtheria, whooping-cough, tetanus, poliomyelitis and Hib infection.

On April 19, the worker, Bui Thi Phuong Hoa, from a clinic of the Ha Noi Centre for Preventive Medicine, was caught retaining 0.2ml of an 0.5ml Pentaxim vaccine shot while injecting a five-month-old baby.

Centre director Nguyen Nhat Cam admitted the illegal act took place.

The father said he had heard about what had been going on at the clinic so he kept an eye on the health worker's actions during the vaccination of his child.

He noted the health worker had not thrown the vaccine tube cover into the rubbish bin but had put it into a packet, he said.

He had preserved immediately the cover and had asked for the presence of the city's chief health inspector Nguyen Viet Cuong, the centre director and other health officials at the same time.

Cam said the document signed on that day concluded that Hoa had failed to comply with the vaccination process and had retained nearly 50 per cent of the vaccine shot.

The centre had suspended Hoa from her work for a week to decide on her punishment, he said.

However, Lam and other parents said they wondered how many children were victims of this or similar activities.

Vu Thuy Hang, mother of an eight-month-old child, said each vaccine shot cost VND635,000 (US$30).

That amount of money was nothing in comparison with a child's life. It was too cruel, she said. She wondered how she could know her child was getting the appropriate shot.

Thai Thanh Binh, a pediatrician, said part of a vaccine dose would have no effect because it it would not create enough volume of antibodies against the disease.

And the vaccine retained would be useless because it had been opened and not preserved.

Cam said an official would observe and arrange tests for Lam's child to find out whether he had got protection from the vaccine.

The clinic's operation would be inspected to detect whether there were more cases. — VNS



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