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Deaths prompt Viet Nam to ask WHO to verify vaccines

Update: December, 22/2012 - 09:12

HA NOI (VNS)– Viet Nam has asked the World Health Organisation and vaccine producers to verify the safety of a vaccine after the deaths of three young children, who received the jab in central Nghe An Province last week.

The "five in one" vaccine is administered to children to protect them against diphtheria, whooping-cough, tetanus, hepatitis B and pneumonia.

Deputy Chief of the health ministry's Preventive Medicine Department Phan Trong Lan said experts have been investigating the circumstances of the deaths and the side effects caused by the vaccine.

Experts who are from the department, Central Paediatrics Hospital and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, visited the area and found that the transportation and preservation of vaccine was in line with regulations.

The nurses who administered the vaccine had also received sufficient training.

The three victims were not suffering any disease before vaccination, Lan added.

Nghe An Health Department has stopped using the vaccines across the province, while vaccine samples have been sent to the National Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals for verification.

Lan said side-effects can occur after vaccination due to various reasons.

The deaths of three children were unfortunate, however, the vaccination is still needed for children to protect themselves, their family and community from disease epidemics.

As many as 65 children in Chau Quang Commune, Quy Hop District were injected with the "five in one" vaccine at that time. Three later died. — VNS

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