|During the campaign, children under five will get the free vaccines at commune and ward health clinics, while children between six and 14 years of age will be vaccinated in primary and secondary schools.— VNS Photo Thanh Hai
HA NOI (VNS) — The National Expanded Programme for Immunisation (EPI) will provide a combined measles and rubella vaccine to about 23 million of children in the one-to-14 age group.
Beginning on September 15, the six-month campaign, the largest-ever in the country, aims to reduce measles and rubella infections in the community. It also aims to eliminate measles in Viet Nam by 2017 and rubella by a future date, said EPI Director Nguyen Tran Hien.
"The vaccination programme aims to prevent measles and rubella transmission from children to caregivers, reduce their incidence in the community, and gradually eliminate the diseases," explained Hien.
During the campaign, children under five will get the free vaccines at commune and ward health clinics, while children between six and 14 years of age will be vaccinated in primary and secondary schools.
The combined measles and rubella vaccine will be supported through a US$34.6 million grant from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI).
"The India- manufactured vaccine is a very good vaccine that meets all required standards of the World Health Organisation," stressed Hien.
Hien said that more than 600 million doses of the combined vaccine have been used safely in seven campaigns in many countries.
"The country's whole health care system will be mobilised in the campaign in efforts to provide the vaccine safely to least 95 per cent of the targeted children nation-wide," said Hien.
"All preparations have been completed," added the director.
The Ministry of Health's statistics showed that there were 4,462 measles cases among nearly 20,000 suspected cases reported from 62 to 63 provinces and cities nation-wide since late 2013. Seventy-six of the total number of measles cases were reportedly mainly in children under the age of 10. — VNS