|GSK Vietnam, Việt Nam Association of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Việt Nam Association of Preventive Medicine have oganised a series of seminars on the benefits of maternal immunisation against pertussis, especially for pregnant women. — Photo courtesy of GSK
HCM CITY — GSK Pharma Vietnam Company Limited (GSK Vietnam), the Việt Nam Association of Gynecology and Obstetrics and the Việt Nam Association of Preventive Medicine, have organised a series of scientific seminars on the benefits of maternal immunisation against pertussis, especially for pregnant women.
The seminar series themed "Increasing antibodies by pertussis vaccine to protect babies during the pregnancy” attracted the participation of top industry experts and more than 1,000 health professionals nationwide.
This was an opportunity for experts to emphasise the need once again for adult immunisation, especially for pregnant women.
The experts discussed the latest scientific data and the burden of pertussis infection in infants who are too young to be vaccinated.
Phạm Quang Thái, deputy head of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention Department under the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), said for more than 50 per cent of severe pertussis infected children, their mother is the most common source of transmission during the first three months of life.
Medical reports globally show up to 93 per cent of infants under three months of age with pertussis require hospitalisation due to complications such as pneumonia, seizures, brain damage or convulsions.
About 73 per cent of pertussis-related deaths occur in children under three months of age.
Recognising the need for early immunization to protect newborns, the World Health Organization (WHO) and healthcare systems in over 40 countries, including the UK, the USA, Brazil and Australia, have issued vaccination recommendations for pregnant women to protect their children during the "immunity gap" period.
Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of GSK's Tdap vaccine for pregnant women to prevent pertussis in newborn infants.
In Việt Nam, this vaccine has also been licensed by the Ministry of Health.
Lê Quang Thanh, president of the HCM City Maternal and Fetal Medicine Association and director of Từ Dũ Maternity Hospital, reminded the audience of the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and the benefit of early prevention with vaccines.
Vaccination coverage among adults, especially pregnant women, have historically been low, however, fortunately, there have been positive changes since the pandemic.
“More people are aware of the importance of disease prevention and of the role of health professionals, including pulmonologists and obstetricians, in giving vaccination counseling to the elderly, people with underlying medical conditions, and pregnant women,” Thanh said.
Phạm Thị Mỹ Liên, president of GSK Vietnam, said GSK is proud to support Viet Nam’s healthcare system to bring new advanced medical solutions to the Vietnamese people to prevent disease.
“We hope the Vietnamese government will continue to recommend vaccination to protect adults from vaccine preventable diseases,” she said.
GSK is a global biopharma company uniting science, technology, and talent to get ahead of disease together. — VNS