Medical workers fear widespread measles in HCMC after detecting new cases

HCMC has just recorded two more measles cases in the community, bringing the total number of measles cases in the city since the beginning of the year to 4. The newly discovered cases are living in Binh Tan District and Hoc Mon District.


The HCMC Center for Disease Control (HCDC) said that the four children with measles in the city are all under 24 months old and have not been vaccinated against the disease. One child has severe pneumonia and needs oxygen therapy. Thus, after more than 1 year without any cases, HCMC has witnessed the reoccurrence of measles.

Medical centers have quickly focused their attention on the affected area while carrying out an investigation of the epidemic and preventing the spread of the disease.

According to Dr. Le Hong Nga, Deputy Director of HCDC, measles vaccines are currently available at all health stations but some parents are still neglected not to take their children for vaccination, making the risk of children getting the disease high. Worse, measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads easily when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes.

As of the end of April 2024, the vaccination rate of children receiving 2 doses of measles vaccine for children born in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 in HCMC is 93.2 percent; 90.1 percent; 91.7 percent and 93.6 percent, respectively. This coverage rate meets the minimum requirements of the Ministry of Health but has not yet reached the target set by HCMC that is over 95 percent. This is the necessary coverage to create herd immunity.

The interruption of vaccine supply after the Covid-19 pandemic is blamed for the low measles vaccination rate. In the years 2022-2023, HCMC continuously lacked various vaccines in the National Expanded Immunization Program. In addition, many parents have not paid enough attention to vaccinating their children.

Dr. Le Hong Nga affirmed that she will actively cooperate with the education sector to proactively review the vaccination status of children, focusing on children in daycare facilities at people’s households.

According to experts, vaccination is the best way to protect children from the risk of measles. Children will be given 2 free doses of measles vaccine at 9 months and 18 months of age in the National Expanded Immunization Program. The vaccine works very well. Two doses are 97 percent effective against measles.

Other news