No change in Hepatitis B vaccine procedures: Ministry

No changes will be made in vaccine procedures despite the recent Hepatitis B vaccine incident in Huong Hoa District in the central province of Quang Tri causing deaths of three infant,  said Nguyen Van Binh,  head of the Preventive Medicine Department  under the Ministry of Health.

No changes will be made in vaccine procedures despite the recent Hepatitis B vaccine incident in Huong Hoa District (Photo: SGGP)

Dr. Binh believes that one dose of HBIG administered within 24 hours after birth is sufficient in preventing both acute and chronic HBV infection.

Dr. Binh said researches and scientific evidence shows that vaccination administered within 24 hours after birth can protect the infant from cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer that commonly spreads from mother to child at birth. 

He advises parents to take their children to medical units for vaccination as it is the most effective measure to actively prevent infectious diseases.

Meantime, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long sent an urgent dispatch to the Criminal Prevention Department under the Ministry of Public Security to urge an investigation into the vaccine incident.

The Preventive Medicine Department ordered the National Institute for Control of Vaccine and Biological Products and the National Institute of Forensic Medicine to report the quality of two vaccine lots that have been discontinued after the death of the three infants and infant samples.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien on July 26 sent a document to the People’s Committee in Quang Tri Province ordering acknowledgement of wrongdoings of individuals in the incident. In the document, the minister said while waiting for the final conclusion from the police, the health sector in the province should suspend individuals who are directly or indirectly responsible for the incident.

The minister also asked the provincial Department of Health to enhance supervision on vaccination as well as publicize openly the investigation results to reduce concern of residents and medical workers.

By staff writer - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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