Changes expected to expanded vaccination programme next June

Wednesday, 2018-04-18 10:29:43
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Next June several new vaccines will be used in the 2018 expanded vaccination programme.
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NDO – The national expanded vaccination programme in 2018 will witness several changes come June, with a new vaccine replacing the 5-in-1 Quinvaxem, the polio vaccine to be deployed through injection, and the use of a Vietnamese-made measles-rubella combined vaccine.

The changes were announced by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology under the Ministry of Health (MOH) at a conference discussing the application of new vaccines held in Da Nang on April 17.

Accordingly, the Indian-produced ComBe Five vaccine, which was licenced by the MOH in May 2017, has been chosen to replace the previous Quinvaxem vaccine. The new vaccine is similar to Quinvaxem, being effective against diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, and pneumonia/meningitis due to Hib bacteria.

Meeting the strict requirements of the World Health Organisation, ComBe Five has been deployed in more than 43 countries around the world with over 400 million doses used. Its safety and effectiveness is similar to that of other 5-in-1 vaccines of the same composition.

In order to maintain the results of eliminating polio during the past 17 years, along with continuing to use three oral doses of polio vaccine, children at five months of age will be given an additional injection of polio vaccine under the regular immunisation programme from 2018.

Accordingly, from June this year, children nationwide will be given an injection of IPV polio vaccine manufactured by France’s Sanofi. The vaccine is offered by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations and the United Nations Children's Fund. Partners will provide the IPV vaccine to Vietnam in two batches in March and August 2018 providing more than 1.9 million doses. From June, the vaccine will be deployed in four provinces and cities, including Vinh Phuc, Da Nang, Gia Lai, and Vinh Long, before being expanded to other locales across the country.

Currently, Vietnam has ensured its active self-production of the measles-rubella combined vaccine on the basis of technology transfer from Japan. The vaccine has initially replaced the previous imported one, to provide injections of nearly 8,000 doses for children aged 18-24 months since February 2018, with no serious reactions recorded.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Tran Dac Phu, Head of the MOH’s Department of Preventive Medicine, said that Quinvaxem would continue to be used for children under one year of age in the expanded immunisation programme until it is replaced by the new vaccine to ensure children are fully immunised.

The MOH recommends that parents continue to fully vaccinate their children in accordance with the vaccination schedule to prevent the spread of dangerous infectious diseases.