Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — HCM City has run out of the Pentaxim vaccine that protects children against five diseases, however drug companies say they will import more vaccine doses next month, according to the city’s health department.
The one-in-five vaccine helps protect infants against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and hepatitis B, as well as Haemophilus influenza Type B.
Nguyễn Trí Dũng, head of the city’s Preventive Health Centre, said that parents with infants should not wait for Pentaxim as it means their infants will miss the time for vaccination.
Infants could get diseases while parents waited for Pentaxim, Dũng said.
The Ministry of Health says that infants, who have already recieved the first or second of the vaccine’s three shots, can also use the five-in-one Quinvaxem combination vaccine, which is provided for free at 12,000 health facilities in the country under the National Expanded Programme on Immunisation.
The ingredients of the Quinvaxem vaccine are similar to Pentaxim, Dũng said, adding that the Quinvaxem contains whole-cell pertussis while Pentaxim includes acellular pertussis, explaining that is why many of infants, who are vaccinated with Quinvaxem, often get fever compared to those vaccinated with Pentaxim.
According to health experts, a vaccine with whole-cell pertussis will stimulate the body to create more antibodies, leading to a longer-term and more protective effectiveness than the one with acellular pertussis.
The representative office of Sanofi Pasteur, the affiliation of the global business unit of Sanofi in Việt Nam, said more than 63,000 doses of the Pentaxim vaccine are scheduled to be imported after this month.
Since the beginning of the year, the company has distributed more than 31,000 doses of the vaccine in HCM City. A total of 107,000 doses has been imported in the country so far this year.
Moreover, there is another non-subsidised vaccine for infants in the city. The vaccine is the six-in-one Infanrix combination vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).
The representative office of the UK-based multinational GlaxoSmithKline in Việt Nam said that it is finishing the procedure to obtain the Ministry of Health’s approval of importing the vaccine.
If approved, it is expected to import 120,000 doses of the Infanrix vaccine in October to meet the demand for vaccinations throughout the country. — VNS