A solemn meeting was held in Hai Duong province on April 27 in response to “Immunisation Week” launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the Western Pacific Region.

The meeting saw the presence of Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long and WHO Chief Representative Takeshi Kasai.

This year’s immunisation week, running from April 22-30, is themed “Toward the target of no measles”.

A range of activities are underway to eliminate measles in Vietnam, including increasing the proportion of 9- and 18-month old children receiving two doses of vaccine against measles to 95 percent; a measles–rubella immunisation campaign for 23 million children between 9-14 months old by 2014; and immediate vaccinations for people at high risk, especially those between 22 and 30 years old.

Addressing the ceremony, Deputy Minister Long urged localities and agencies work harder to bring the immunisation programme to remote areas, as well as raise public awareness of the effect immunisation has on people’s quality of life.

According to Kasai, from 1993 to now, the percentage of immunised children under 1 year old was maintained at over 90 percent in Vietnam. The country has also achieved several important goals such as eliminating polio (in 2000) and neonatal tetanus (in 2005), making the achievement of the fourth millennium goal to reduce the child mortality rate closer, he added.-VNA