Vietnamese Ministry of Health decided that ComBE Five vaccine, provided by GAVI, will replace Korean-made Quinvaxem as the latter’s manufacturer Janssen has stopped production of the pentavalent vaccine worldwide.
However, the new vaccine has not been distributed to all localities while many Mekong delta provinces has been short of vaccine.
Ms. Le Thi Cam Tien in Ninh Kieu District in Can Tho City worried as her three-month-old baby has not been vaccinated because medical center announced it has run out of the vaccine.
Meantime, other parents whose kids received the first shot waited for the second shot. They are uneasy about the halt for fear of affecting vaccine effectiveness and efficacy.
As a result, parents resorted to paying for vaccine in infirmaries. Price of five-in-one vaccine in the Can Tho Maternity Hospital is VND700,000 ($30) a shot and parents must pay VND2.1 million for three shots while six-in-one vaccine is priced at VND850,000.
Ms. Tran Truc Ly in Long Phu District of Soc Trang Province said she can’t afford the vaccine; therefore, she has no choice but wait for ComBE Five though she is apprehensive for her baby’s health.
Deputy Director of the Can Tho Department of Health Dr. Tran Trung Nghia expected parents to sympathize with the sector. Vinh Long and Hau Giang ran out of the five-in-one vaccine since September; worse, director of the Department of Health in An Giang Province Dr. Tu Quoc Tuan said there is no more vaccine even paid vaccine.
Health authorities in Mekong delta sent document to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and Pasteur Institute asking about supply time to inform residents.