Wednesday, December 7 2016

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HCM City inspects illegal vaccine sales

Update: December, 18/2015 - 09:12
The Sai Gon Medical Equipment Joint Stock Company was ordered to stop selling Pentaxim five-in-one vaccine and return deposited money to parents after an inspection of HCM City Health Department on Wednesday. — Photo congan.com.vn

HCM CITY (VNS) — The Sai Gon Medical Equipment Joint Stock Company was ordered to stop selling Pentaxim five-in-one vaccine and return deposited money to parents after an inspection of HCM City Health Department on Wednesday.

Last week, in front of the company's headquarters located at Appollo building on Cong Hoa Street in Tan Binh District's Ward 15, a banner saying the company offers Penvaxim five-in-one vaccination attracted parents.

A company staffer named Le Minh told the Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper that one dose of Pentaxim vaccine sold by the company costs VND2million (US$88). Parents who want to register for the vaccination must deposit VND500,000 ($22) for each dose.

The rest VND1.5million must be paid one day prior to vaccination day.

The company imported over 2,000 doses of Pentaxim vaccine. Four days after opening the registration, the number of sold vaccines has exceeded 2,000, the Lao Dong reported.

She said that the vaccination time will be in January next year as the company will collaborate with HCM City-based Pasteur Hospital, Mekong Maternity Hospital and Preventive Medicine Centre to provide the service.

However, according to the health department's inspectors, these three units rejected the information.

The Appollo Joint Stock Company representative also said that it is not involved in the case but only offered the headquarters for rent to the Sai Gon Medical Equipment Joint Stock Company.

During the inspection, a representative of the Sai Gon Medical Equipment Joint Stock Company showed a contract with a Ha Noi-based pharmacy company named DTH. However, the Sai Gon Medical Equipment Joint Stock Company is not eligible for selling medicines, Bui Minh Trang, chief inspector of the municipal health department said.

Trang told media that vaccination service centres in the city have announced a shortage of Infanrix Hexa six-in-one vaccine and Pentaxim five-in-one vaccine, however, many parents claimed that their children were still vaccinated.

He said that the health department‘s inspectors will verify whether the vaccines are portable imports or not. If this happens, he said that it is extremely dangerous.

"Any vaccine has strict temperature requirements for storage. Different levels of temperature for storage can pose high risks. Luckily, no children have been vaccinated," he said.

To address the shortage of vaccine for the national programme on immunisation, this week the Centre for Biological Products and Vaccine Production Research under the Ministry of Health announced new supplies of 25,000 doses of France-imported Pentaxim vaccine for the South by the end of this month. — VNS

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