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City falls short of vaccinations target as measles cases rise

Update: April, 14/2014 - 09:12
Five weeks after the implementation of a measles vaccine campaign, only 37,000 of the 95,000 children targeted have received the free vaccinations.— Photo nguoiduatin

HCM CITY (VNS)— Five weeks after the implementation of a measles vaccine campaign, only 37,000 of the 95,000 children targeted have received the free vaccinations, as the number of cases increases at hospitals.

Tran Dac Phu, head of Viet Nam's General Department of Preventive Medicine, said that provinces and cities including HCM City would step up their campaign to cover more children by the end of the month.

"The vaccine is the best way to stop the outbreak of measles," Phu added.

He warned that children at the age outside the national programme guidelines and adults should get a vaccine if tests show there are no antibodies to the disease in their system.

The number of measles cases is increasing in HCM City, with about 15-20 cases weekly, according to the Preventive Medicine Centre.

The districts with the highest incidences include 8, Binh Tan and Binh Chanh.

At the city's Paediatrics Hospital No.1, about 100 children on average are examined and treated each day. Of those, 10 per cent have had serious complications.

The campaign is directed at children aged nine months to three years and to those who have received only one shot. Two shots are necessary for the vaccine to be effective.

Under the national programme on expanded immunisation, nine-month-old infants are to receive their first shot in local wards and communes, and the second shot when they are 18 months old.

Dr Nguyen Tri Dung, the centre's head, said many parents were worried about the safety of the measles vaccine and were not taking their children to get shots. —VNS

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