Over 50,000 children vaccinated with made-in-Vietnam measles-rubella vaccine

Friday, 2018-04-13 10:24:45
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The 2-in-1 combined measles-rubella vaccine produced by Vietnam has been used in the expanded immunisation programme.
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NDO – The measles-rubella vaccine produced by Vietnam has been utilised on a national scale as of this April, for children aged 18 to 24 months, replacing the long-standing imported vaccine.

According to Assoc. Prof. Duong Thi Hong, Deputy Head of the Executive Board for the National Expanded Vaccination Programme, the safety of the combined vaccine produced by Vietnam has been confirmed at regular local immunisation sites with no severe reactions being recorded following the injections. The results show the same safety profile as the previous measles-rubella vaccine used during the 2014 - 2016 period.

The MR vaccine was successfully produced in 2016 by the Centre for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biology (POLYVAC) with Japanese support, making Vietnam one of the four countries in Asia to successfully produce a measles-rubella vaccine.

In 2017, the 2-in-1 vaccine was granted a licence and since this March it has been piloted in a small scale under the national expanded vaccination programme in the four provinces of Ha Nam, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Khanh Hoa and Dak Nong for more than 7,000 children. To date, more than 50,000 children in 19 provinces and cities nationwide have been vaccinated.

Dr. Tran Dac Phu, Head of the Ministry of Health’s Department of Preventive Medicine, said that using the made-in-Vietnam MR vaccine will help to reduce the import costs for this injection. Currently, measles is at risk of an outbreak, while rubella, which does not cause severe clinical diseases except a rash, causes birth defects, especially in pregnant mothers who suffer from rubella. For that reason, the rubella vaccination addresses these two problems, Dr. Phu affirmed.

The introduction of the MR vaccine made by Vietnam, completely replacing the imported vaccines, will cover larger areas of 18 month old babies and areas at risk of such diseases, he said, adding that, previously, children under 18 months of age had only received a single dose against measles.