Medical experts warn risk of waiting for self-paid vaccine

The uptake of self-paid vaccines amongst parents in Ho Chi Minh City is high; however, waiting for foreign-made self-paid vaccine has risked the lives of children and the community because they have not immunized as per schedule.

Medical experts warn risk of waiting for self-paid vaccine

Imported self-paid vaccine is becoming the first choice for parents in the city who are willing to pay high price and wait for the expensive vaccine that they believe better than vaccine in the country’s National Expand Immunization Program.
Ms. Dao Thi Anh Lan in Tan Phu District who is mother of a nine month old baby decided to wait three months for imported rubella-measles- mumps vaccine.
However, her baby got measles and pneumonia as complications of measles. The baby was rushed to the Children Hospital No.1.
After physicians threw light on significance of scheduled vaccination, she said that if she had known this before, she had taken her baby to local medical clinics.
The municipal Department of Preventive Medicine director Dr. Nguyen Tri Dung said that in 2018, the city’s immunization coverage of babies under 1 year old was 95.6 percent satisfying the Ministry of Health’s requirement.
However, the inoculation coverage rate of the second shots of measles was  76.2 percent much lower than requirement ( of over 90 percent)
Admittedly, the self-paid vaccine has greatly contributed to raise measles vaccination coverage amongst children.
Nevertheless, something of self-paid vaccination should be addressed to work along with the National Expanded Immunization Program to protect the community against contagious diseases.
Dr. Dung added that immunization schedule of self-paid vaccine and of the National Expanded immunization program don’t match.
Additionally, some medical clinics advised parents not to inject baby at the month of nine but the month of twelve which make kids lose the chance of early vaccination and increasing  risk for the community.
Head of the Children hospital’s Infectious Disease ward Dr. Truong Huu Khanh said that the difference in vaccination schedule between medical clinics has created loophole in immunization which is the culprit of re-occurrence of measles lately.
Dr. Khanh said that there should be good cooperation between medical clinics to provide self-paid vaccine and clinics of the National Expanded Immunization program to increase vaccination coverage in a bid to prevent spread of the disease.
Accordingly, the municipal Department of Health has directed medical clinics to strictly adhere to the Ministry’s guideline of vaccination schedule.
For these clinics to sell vaccine, they can buy measles vaccine to satisfy parents’ demand.
More importantly, medical workers ought to consult full information of vaccine and schedule, Dr. Dung said.
In the next time, health sector will work with the education sector to review children who are not fully vaccinated as well as encourage their parents to take kids to nearby medical clinics for inoculation, Dr. Dung stressed.

By THANH AN - Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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