Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Health has issued a decision approving a plan to give additional measles-rubella (MR) vaccine shots to children in the 1-5 age group in the 2018-2019 period.

Under Decision 6193/QD-BYT, the number of children benefiting from the campaign is 4.28 million, mostly from high-risk areas. The children, whether they got MR vaccines already or not, and their last shot was under one month prior to the start of the campaign, will receive one more MR shot to enhance their resistance against diseases.

The campaign will be conducted at kindergartens and health care facilities. The ministry has directed localities to set up inspection and supervision teams to support the campaign to ensure quality and safety.

Statistics of the ministry showed that the number of measles infection cases in 2017 were higher than that in 2015 and 2016.

As of September 17, 2018, the disease was reported in 37 localities nationwide with nearly 1,000 cases, including one death in Hung Yen province. Localities with a high number of cases include Hanoi, Lao Cai, Thanh Hoa, Son La, Quang Ninh and Dien Bien.

Although the rate of MR vaccination coverage nationwide is relatively high, the figure has yet to meet 95 percent, while there remain many high-risk areas with a rate of under 90 percent.

Measles and rubella are dangerous communicable diseases, which may cause serious complications on patients and even threaten their lives.

MR vaccines are effective and safe in preventing the diseases. In 2018, Vietnam has give additional shots to children in 33 districts of six high-risk provinces of Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Thanh Hoa, Lai Chau, Dien Bien and Son La. Meanwhile, 13 other high-risk areas have built their plans to conduct the campaign.-VNA