|A medical worker gives vaccines to children at a health clinic in Ha Noi's Quynh Mai Ward. Health officials said a shortage of vaccines was unlikely. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
HA NOI (VNS) — Ha Noi residents worried the Government might run out of vaccines have been lining up in the early hours of the morning to register their children for the immunisation services programme. However, health officials said no such shortage was likely.
Viet Nam has two immunisation programmes: the national immunisation programme and immunisation services. Every year, the country needs about 35 to 40 million vaccine doses for the national programme and more than three million doses for the immunisation services programme.
The Ministry of Health stipulates that medical workers can only immunise 50 children a day. Parents who arrive at an immunisation centre after the limit has been reached must return another day. However, some residents worried the Government would run out of vaccines, arrived early to make sure their children received them.
Two vaccination procedures are usually on offer - the five-in-one and the six-in-one. The five-in-one protects against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and haemophilus influenza type B. The six-in-one vaccine also protects against hepatitis B.
The Ministry of Health supplies 11 free vaccines, including those for tuberculosis, diphtheria, polio and whooping cough, to the national immunisation programme. Funds for the programme come from State and ministry budgets.
Immunisation services also provides chickenpox, flu and meningo-encephalitis vaccines.
Nguyen Thanh Huong, who lives in Hai Ba Trung District, said she arrived at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology at 4.30am. Her daughter was third in line to receive the vaccination.
Huong said people who went to the institute at 8am were told to leave as the limit for vaccinations had been reached.
The same thing happened at other immunisation centres, including the Ha Noi Preventive Medicine Centre.
However, Nguyen Nhat Cam, director of the Ha Noi Preventive Medicine Centre, said that there was no shortage of vaccines.
The immunisation centre at No. 131 Lo Duc Street had enough vaccines of both types to meet demand, Cam said.
The centre had registered about 6,000 doses of the six-in-one vaccine and 3,000 to 4,000 doses of the five-in-one.
The Government imported vaccines regularly to prepare for high demand, said Tran Quoc Dat, deputy director of the Drug Administration of Viet Nam under the Ministry of Health. More than 48,000 doses of the five-in-one vaccine were imported on September 18. Another 22,000 doses were imported in the preceding two months.
More than 205,400 doses of the six-in-one vaccine were imported on August 20.
The importers had 140,000 doses of the five-in-one vaccine at the time of publication, Dat said. — VNS