Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Thirty-two cases of measles were recorded in Hanoi in the first three weeks of 2019, mostly children who are under five years old and have not been fully vaccinated.

Deputy head of the Hanoi Centre for Diseases Control Khong Minh Tuan said in mid-2018, the municipal Health Department noticed a risk of measles infection rise.

The department then proposed to run an additional measles rubella vaccination campaign for children aged between 1 and 5. The campaign, starting in November last year, has to date vaccinated 574,191 out of the total 607,023 children, equaling 95 percent.

Hoang Duc Hanh, vice director of the department, said the disease, despite being under control at the moment, can escalate at any time in the future.

He attributed the issue to parents, who have delayed vaccinating their children over worries about side effects.

The first shot against measles is supposed to take place at nine months old and the second shot at 18 months old, according to the Ministry of Health’s national immunisation guidelines. 

Between January and August in 2018, the capital city recorded over 270 cases of measles, compared to just 60 for all of 2017.

Director of the Hanoi Preventive Medicines Centre Nguyen Nhat Cam said that the measles cases were found across all districts in the city, not localised in one area.

He said about 140,000-150,000 babies are born in Hanoi per year and about 5 percent of the newborns are not vaccinated.-VNA