|Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien (central) visited Hospital for Children 1 and other hospitals in HCM City yesterday to examine measles control and prevention. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy
HCM CITY (VNS) — More than 95,000 doses of measles vaccines have been given to children aged nine to 36 months in HCM City over the last two months to curb a measles outbreak in the city.
The city's Preventive Medicine Centre director, Nguyen Tri Dung, said the free immunisations would continue in May to ensure coverage of children from migrant families.
The immunisation programme was expanded on April 24 to include children aged four to six who have not received vaccines or who haved failed to get enough doses, Dung said at a meeting with a ministerial inspection team yesterday in HCM City.
The number of patients with measles has increased significantly this year, with nearly 1,500 cases reported.
Of those cases, children under three years old accounted for 70 per cent, and children aged three to 10 accounted for more than 20 per cent.
All districts of HCM City have reported measles cases, but no deaths have occurred, the centre said.
The Ministry of Health on Sunday issued a warning about the high risk of infection from measles in crowded public places, especially during the upcoming holiday.
The ministry has said that people with respiratory problems, as well as measles symptoms such as fever, cough and skin rash, should not travel or gather in public places.
To prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus, children who have not been vaccinated should not be taken to public entertainment places.
The ministry recommends that children aged nine to 24 months should get the vaccinations at medical clinics if they have had no vaccine, or have not had a sufficient number of shots. Two shots are necessary for the vaccine to be effective.
Children nine months to 10 years old living in areas with a high risk of measles infection should immediately get the vaccinations.
Ha Noi, HCM City and Hai Duong, as well as the provinces of Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Hung Yen, Bac Giang, Vinh Phuc, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa and Binh Duong, are localities that have a high risk of infection, the ministry said.
Ha Noi recorded another measles-linked death yesterday at the National Hospital of Paediatrics, pushing the fatalities from measles and its complications to 128 so far this year.
In Ha Noi, free vaccinations are being offered to children. — VNS