|Last Saturday Minister of Health Prof Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến and health officials visited several districts in HCM City and the Paediatrics Hospital 1 and Hospital for Tropical Diseases to check efforts for prevention and treatment of diseases including measles. —VNA/VNS Đinh Hằng|
HCM CITY– The Ministry of Health has instructed ward and commune health stations in HCM City to double the number of days each month to four on which they vaccinate children to increase immunisation coverage, including against measles.
Speaking at a meeting with the city Department of Health and relevant agencies, Minister of Health Assoc.Prof Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến said failure to get vaccinated is one of reasons for measles infection.
“Measles spreads rapidly, but can be prevented with vaccines.”
According to a report by the department, 97 per cent of patients hospitalised with measles were not vaccinated sufficiently.
The city should strengthen its communication about vaccines, and “health officials and collaborators should go to each house,” Tiến said.
They should know exactly how many children of vaccination age are in each residential area so that no one is missed, she warned.
“Children aged nine to 11 months are given first priority in getting vaccinated as part of the expanded immunisation programme at health stations, hospitals and kindergartens.”
They should set up mobile facilities to vaccinate children of workers at industrial parks and export processing zones, she said.
“If the city manages to vaccinate all children, measles will not break out for at least another five years.”
Nguyễn Hữu Hưng, deputy head of the city Department of Health, said last year the rate of children getting their first and second shots were 96 per cent and 80 per cent.
So the department carried out its own campaign to give all children two shots, but only managed to cover 85 per cent, he said.
There were various reasons for this, including some parents’reluctance to have their children vaccinated, he said.
In many cases school managers do not know if their students have been vaccinated, according to the official.
But the campaign hopes to cover 95 per cent as required by the ministry.
Since 2018 the city has recorded 4,327 cases of measles, and there is a falling trend in the last two weeks.
But the minister warned the incidence could rise again because of the low immunisation rate.—VNS