A combined measles-rubella vaccine is expected to be available for children aged nine months to 14 years within a year or two, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute.

Another vaccine, which is only for measles, was already available for children aged nine months. At 18 months, they receive a booster shot.

The information was released by Nguyen Thi Minh Phuong, Head of the Institute's Disease Control Ward at a recent workshop on the national vaccination programme in the southern region in the city.

All children at least nine months old got their first measles vaccination last year, but not every child in the country received the booster shot, Phuong said.

The national vaccination programme provided 987,366 measles vaccine shots to babies last year, including two separate injections. Last year, as much as 12.2 billion VND (580,952 USD) were allocated for the national vaccination programme for young children in the southern region.

The programme provides free vaccines for the following: tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, poliomyelitis, pneumonia, meningitis caused by haemophilus influenza type b (Hib), Japanese encephalitis, cholera, typhoid and measles.

Last year, the programme covered 170 districts and gave vaccines to prevent all of these diseases from 1.5 million babies.-VNA