|Vaccines are produced by Vaccine and Biological Production Co No1 under the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology. A shortage of vaccines has been reported in Da Nang after local authorities underestimated the quantity needed. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
DA NANG (VNS) — Thousands of infants in Da Nang had to return without receiving their scheduled vaccinations on Monday because the central city had underestimated the quantity of vaccines needed.
The city's Preventive Health Centre said that its estimation of the number of children that would need to be vaccinated this month had been wrong because the number of births last Lunar Year, considered a particularly auspicious one to have babies, was higher than expected.
On February 25, thousands of mothers in the city were informed of a vaccine shortage when they brought their babies to health clinics in the city's districts, wards and communes for vaccinations.
At a health clinic in Thanh Khe District's Thanh Khe Tay Ward, more than 40 infants returned home without getting their vaccinations.
Tran Thi Hanh had brought her month-old baby to get a vaccination for tuberculosis, but a nurse told her that the clinic had run out of that vaccine.
The situation was the same at another clinic in the district's Tan Chinh Ward.
The city is experiencing a shortage of the 5-in-1 vaccine that inoculates babies against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis type B, and hib (Haemophilus type b), as well as vaccines for tuberculosis and polio vaccine.
Dr Tran Bao Ngoc, secretary of the city's vaccine programme, said it lacks 100 doses of tuberculosis vaccine, and 1,100 doses each of the 5-in-1 and polio vaccines.
The city had estimated that around 16,000 infants would be born in 2012, but the actual number was more than 20,000, leading to the vaccine shortage at the beginning of this year, Ngoc said.
However, the city will have enough vaccines for infants next month because the Ministry of Health's Preventive Health Department has asked the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals in the central region to arrange for sufficient supplies, said department director Nguyen Van Binh.
Dr Nguyen Tran Hien, head of the national vaccine programme, confirmed that the country did not lack vaccines and had enough in stock to meet the needs of all infants. —VNS