Health agencies distribute rabies vaccine to curb shortage

More people succumbed to rabies because there was shortage of the vaccine against the disease in some localities.

People who were bitten by cats or dogs should be vaccinated at health centers

People who were bitten by cats or dogs should be vaccinated at health centers

The National Tropical Disease Hospital admitted several cases of rabies in recent months, medical workers could not  save their lives because they had not vaccinated after being bitten by mad dogs and cats.

Since the beginning of the year, there has been an escalation of deaths due to rabies. Fretting that more people will succumb to the disease because the hot weather is conducive to rabies virus development, the health sector has planned to add more vaccine against rabies in several localities that have reported the shortage of the vaccine.

Lately, the National Tropical Disease Hospital has admitted a 40 year old woman from the northern province of Bac Giang had rabies after she was bitten by a dog one month before. Doctors’ efforts to save her were unrewarded at last.

The Pasteur Institute and the Tropical Disease Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City announced a crowd of people flock to the hospital for vaccination against rabies. Since the beginning of the year, the hospital monthly receives 170 – 270 people who were bitten by dogs and cats averagely. They were given anti-rabies serum (SAR) and around 200 - 800 people were injected vaccine Verorab against rabies.

Pasteur Institute daily admits 800 – 1,200 people who arrived at the institute for hearing consultation and injection. The number has more than doubled compared to before. 

By the Preventative Health Department’s statistic, in first four months of 2018, 18 people succumbed to the disease nationwide, an increase of 10 percent compared to the same period last year. Medical experts said that rabies cases usually hike in hot weather from May to August in all ages. Deaths result from not vaccination.

Rabies attacks the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals and humans. Zoonosis that can be transmitted to humans via bites or scratches or can be wound through the saliva of animals affected with rabies-infected animal can turn into more aggressive / violent and may attack human and ends with death. Head of the hospital’s Emergency Department Dr. Nguyen Trung Cap advised people to inject the vaccine right after they are bitten.

The Department of Preventive Medicine pointed out there has been no specific drug for rabies except anti-rabies serum and vaccine. Timely vaccination is an effective way to prevent rabies in human.

According to the Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health, rabies vaccines are allowed to circulate in Vietnam including French-made Verorab and Indian-made vaccine Abhayrab, Indirab, Speeda, Rabipur. Around 700 medical facilities give rabies vaccination nationwide.

Annually, approximately 400,000 – 500,000 vaccinated against rabies. Deputy Head of the Drug Administration Do Van Dong said that demand of vaccine depends on the number of victims of animal bite. Therefore, planning and prediction of vaccine demand is quite difficult especially in the time when demand increased drastically.

Following shortage of the vaccine in early  2081, the administration contacted with importers to provide more vaccine to localities which reported the shortage. The administration also checked suppliers’ document to provide more rabies vaccine in circulation.

As per the plan, in May, there will be 273,000 doze of vaccine imported into Vietnam, double that in one month in 2017 with the hope to solve the shortage in some districts.

According to the Department of Animal Health in HCMC, in first two months of 2018 , about 3,177 inhabitants bitten by animals were vaccinated.

By staff writers – Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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