New vaccines to be introduced in Vietnam this May

The Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology held a media press on April 16 to announce the official use of new vaccines in the 2018 National Expanded Immunization Program. These new vaccines to be applied nationwide from May 2018 include made-in-Vietnam MR-Vac Vaccine for measles-rubella, made-in-France IPV Vaccine for polio, and made-in-India ComBe Five Vaccine to replace the current 5-in-1 Quinvaxem.

The Ministry of Health suggests that babies should be vaccinated as scheduled to prevent diseases

The Ministry of Health suggests that babies should be vaccinated as scheduled to prevent diseases

All the above vaccines have been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and are certified to be used widely in Vietnam. Before this, they were all successfully tested in various local areas in the country.

Regarding the 5-in-1 vaccine ComBe Five from India, Associate Professor and Doctor Tran Nhu Duong, Deputy Head of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology said that Qinvaxem’s producer, Berna Biotech Corporation of Korea, has phased out the vaccine, and Vietnamese government decided to choose ComBe Five as its replacement.

This new vaccine has the same ingredients and effects as its counterpart and is able to protect people from diphtheria (D), tetanus (T), pertussis (P, whooping cough), hepatitis B (HepB), and Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib).

It has met all standards issued by WHO and has been certified to be used in Vietnam since May 2017. Over 400 million of dozes of this vaccine have also been applied in more than 43 nations worldwide. It is the current choice of UNICEF for many countries in the world.

According to Associate Prof. Dr. Tran Nhu Duong, since it is similar in ingredients to other 5-in-1 vaccines, in the experimental phase in Ha Nam Province, ComBe Five only gave usual expected side effects on the first day of injection such as temporary swelling on the injected spot (accounting for 5-15 percent), high temperature (34-39 percent). There is absolutely no serious side effect after injection being reported.

It is supposed that the nationwide use of ComBe Five in 11,000 vaccination spots will be in June and July of 2018. Before that, it will be used locally in the four provinces of Ha Nam, Binh Dinh, Kon Tum, and Dong Thap.

The immunization schedule of Combe Five is the same as that of Quinvaxem.

The made-in-Vietnam MR-Vac Vaccine for measles – rubella to replace its made-in-India counterpart has already been used nationwide for babies from 18 months old up since April 2018 in the National Expanded Immunization Program.

Until now, 50,000 babies from the age of 18-24 months old in 19 provinces have been injected with this vaccine, with no serious side effect reported.

The Ministry of Health also announced that to maintain the achievement of polio prevention in Vietnam, WHO suggested injecting a dose of IPV to under-1-month-old infants along with the current use of OPV vaccine for babies from 2 to 3 and 4 months old. The new vaccine is made by Sanofi of France and is certified to be used in Vietnam through the support of the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) and the supply of UNICEF.

By NGUYEN QUOC – Translated by Yen Nhi

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