|Health officials at the HCM City Centre for Disease Control’s serum bank, which began operation on Thursday. — VNS Photo Thu Hằng|
HCM CITY — The HCM City Centre for Disease Control (HCDC) on Thursday began operation of its serum bank, which is a resource for the study of infectious disease transmission and immunity in the city’s population and a support for disease outbreak responses and prevention.
The serum bank, with a capacity of 400,000 – 450,000 samples, is equipped with modern equipment and freezers to ensure serum is properly collected and stored. Its capacity will increase in the future.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Nguyễn Hồng Tâm, director of HCDC, said the centre will develop protocols for periodically collecting serum, properly storing collected serum and ensuring serum is used for the purposes of diseases control.
In the primary stage of its operation, the centre will use serum collections to assess immunity against hand, foot, and mouth disease and measles, he said.
The centre has used multiple serum collections for studies of HIV, Zika virus, dengue, and measles in past years.
Last year, it collaborated with the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit Việt Nam to collect residual serum samples from many hospitals in the city to assess herd immunity against COVID-19.
Dương Anh Đức, deputy chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, said the newly-established serum bank would support greatly disease outbreak responses and prevention in the city.
City authorities have focused on efforts to develop its Centre for Disease Control to keep pace with peers in developed countries. It will require more investment to upgrade the centre’s infrastructure and equipment as well as domestic and international cooperation, he said. — VNS