HCM City faces high risk of measles outbreaks and vaccine shortage

September, 19/2022 - 08:17
There is a high risk of a measles outbreak in HCM City overlapping existing diseases, including dengue fever and COVID-19, according to the city's Department of Health.

 

Children with measles are being treated at Children's Hospital No.2.  – Photo: sggp.org.vn

HCM CITY – There is a high risk of a measles outbreak in HCM City overlapping existing diseases, including dengue fever and COVID-19, according to the city's Department of Health.

The city is facing a shortage of measles and DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) vaccines.

According to Dr. Tăng Chí Thượng, director of the department, the city's monthly demand for measles and DPT vaccines is more than 8,000 doses for each type.

However, the metropolis has received zero additional supplies from the health ministry after making consecutive requests in June, August, and earlier this month due to procedure problems.

"With the supply disruption of measles vaccine, the risk of a recurrent outbreak of measles is high this year," said Thượng.

This shortage, combined with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has put the rate of measles vaccinations in the city lower than the national target of 95 percent of children under the age of one.

According to the city's Department of Health, as of August, only 75.3 percent of babies born in the city in 2020 and 83.6 percent of children born in 2019 had received two doses of measles vaccine, presenting a 19.7 and 11.4 percentage behind the target, respectively.

In addition, only 79.9 percent of children born in 2021 had been jabbed with the first dose of measles vaccine, marking a 15.1 percentage point behind target.

The city's department of Health has instructed ward and commune-level medical centers to make a list of children who are old enough but have not been vaccinated yet to give them the jab as soon as possible.

It also advised people to implement general preventive measures against infectious diseases.

Parents and family members should also protect themselves and wash their hands before and after childcare.

Children who have a rash or fever should be taken to healthcare facilities.

Measles, which is a highly infectious disease that can spread quickly and cause an outbreak, is the leading cause of death in children, especially for children under three years old. VNS

 

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