Supply shortage of Quinvaxem results in kids not being fully immunized

Many medical clinics in Ho Chi Minh City run out of children's five-in-one vaccine Quinvaxem against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenza type B in the National Expanded Immunization Program whereas the replacing vaccine ComBe Five has not been supplied yet.

Supply shortage of Quinvaxem results in kids not being fully immunized

This makes parents who have infants worries.

Ms. Nguyen THi Huyen September 11 took her baby girl to Pasteur Institute for five-in-one vaccine as per the schedule in the program yet she saw the announcement of no more vaccine in the institute’s stock.

Many parents in the day fell in the same situation. The vaccine supply shortage resulted in thousands of children not being fully immunized and reduced vaccination coverage rates.

Director of the Preventive Medicine Center in HCMC Dr. Nguyen Tri Dung said in spite of the center’s effort to distribute vaccine amongst medical clinics, the rest vaccine is just enough in August only. Accordingly, no more clinics, infirmaries and center will administer the vaccine shots in September.

Recent vaccine production interruptions have lasted, the proposed vaccine stockpile levels are insufficient to meet the nation's pediatric immunization needs during such time periods, which in turn could lead to localized and/or widespread disease outbreaks.

Therefore, the city’s Department of Health has sent its document to the Ministry and clinics in 24 districts informing the shortage of the vaccine as well as asking medical workers to explain to parents, Dr. Dung said.

The center advised parents who have kids from 2 to 4 months old to take kids to local medical clinics to get polio vaccine and provide accurate information to medical workers who will tell parents when the vaccine is supplied to the clinics.

Additionally, to protect kids from catching diseases, parents should carry out personal hygiene such as washing hands with soap before touching kids and prevent children from contacting with ill people.

Especially, the center advised parents while awaiting the replacing vaccine, those who can afford paid vaccines should take kids to medical clinics for Pentaxim and Infanrix Hexa vaccine.

Following the information of some infirmaries in HCMC running out of Quinvaxem vaccine, the Drug Administration of Vietnam said that the vaccine manufacturer Janssen stopped producing and distributing Vietnam since December 12, 2017.

Right after the manufacturer’s announcement, the Ministry has quickly found out replacing vaccine and decided to choose vaccine ComBE Five made by Indian Biological E Company. The new vaccine was verified by the World Health Organization and used in 72 nations with 362 million dozes. It was registered in Vietnam.

The Ministry has built plan to add the new vaccine into the National Expanded Immunization Program. Initially, it will be used in seven provinces first before being used in all clinics nationwide.

The Ministry had tested the three batches of vaccine sponsored by GAVI, a global health partnership of public and private sector organizations dedicated to “immunization for all” before injecting children; however, test result is not as good as expected.

Accordingly, the Ministry continued to ask the manufacturer to provide new batch of vaccine for testing again. Tests of the next batch September 10 satisfied the requirements.

The Ministry will supply the new replacing vaccine in early time. While awaiting the new vaccine, medical clinics were asked to report their demand and soon carry out injection for those who have not fully immunized.