HCMC Department of Health proposes measles vaccination for 517,000 children

As of mid-June 2024, Ho Chi Minh City had reported three measles outbreaks in Binh Tan District, Hoc Mon District, and Binh Chanh District, according to Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Health.

A community immunity survey conducted by the HCMC Center for Disease Control in collaboration with the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU), Hospital for Tropical Diseases, and Children's Hospital No.1 revealed that only 86 percent of children aged 9 months to under 5 years in the city have measles antibodies. The World Health Organization emphasizes that maintaining a 95 percent vaccination rate for two doses of measles vaccine in children under 2 years old is crucial for measles elimination.

Additionally, using the World Health Organization's risk assessment tool, it was found that the entire city faces a very high risk of measles outbreaks. In response, the Department of Health recommends to the HCMC People's Committee to approve a campaign to administer supplementary measles vaccinations to all children aged 1 to 5 years in the area, regardless of their prior vaccination status.

In recent months, health stations have focused intensively on catch-up and supplementary measles vaccinations for children lacking complete immunization. Additionally, hospitals throughout the city continue to provide catch-up vaccinations to pediatric patients who were not fully vaccinated against measles before discharge, aiming to bolster protection against the spread of measles.

If approved by the HCMC People's Committee, the additional measles vaccination campaign is expected to cover over 517,000 children aged 1-5 years. Scheduled to commence in July, the campaign targets areas with high-risk measles outbreaks. The estimated budget for this initiative exceeds VND4.3 billion, allocated from the Department of Health's 2024 healthcare funding.

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