Minister asks departments to ensure sufficient vaccine supplies

Update: July, 09/2014 - 14:00

Many of the parents waited for four or five hours to get their children vaccinated.— Photo vietbao

HA NOI (VNS) — Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien asked the health departments in major cities and provinces to ensure enough staff and supplies to meet the public demand for vaccination.

The ministry had said in May that some firms had reduced the number of vaccine imports this year, leading to a vaccine shortage in the health services.

It was reported yesterday that several parents rushed to get their children vaccinated after hearing about the arrival of the five-in-one and chicken pox vaccine supplies.

Many of the parents waited for four or five hours to get their children vaccinated.

The Health Ministry supplies 11 free vaccines, including against tuberculosis, diphtheria, polio and whooping cough, to the national immunisation programme, which is one of the two immunisation programmes in the country. This programme is funded by the State and the ministry's budget.

The vaccines being used in the immunisation services, the second immunisation programme, were imported based on the market demand.

The immunisation services also supplied 11 vaccines to the national immunisation programme, and a few others such as against chicken pox, flu and meningoencephalitis.

There had been a fall in demand for vaccines earlier due to low public awareness in some parts of the country and also because of a few reports about adverse reactions being experienced following vaccinations.

In her directive issued yesterday, minister Tien asked the local health departments to set up more vaccination outlets and extend the hours during which vaccination would be available, to meet the public demand.

She suggested that more immunisation services could be offered at district healthcare centres, if required.

She directed the immunisation services to import more vaccines and to take efforts to improve the people's awareness, especially about making use of the sufficient supply of vaccines in the expanded national immunisation programme. — VNS