The Ministry of Public Health has established 11 working groups to supervise the implementation of the vaccination drive at all levels and localities as part of efforts to improve the programme’s efficiency.

Accordingly, the inspection will be carried out in the northern provinces of Thai Nguyen, Cao Bang, Ninh Binh, Hung Yen, Hai Duong, Hai Phong, Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc and the capital city Hanoi; the central provincial localities of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Phu Yen, Binh Dinh and Khanh Hoa; the Central Highlands provinces of Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Dak Nong; and the southern localities of Can Tho, Vinh Long, Hau Giang, Tien Giang, Long An, Binh Phuoc, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ho Chi Minh City.

The groups will focus on supervising free and full-cost inoculation programmes and the results of the expanded measles-rubella vaccination campaign.

The Ministry stated that the national free vaccination programme to prevent communicable diseases has been organised in all provinces and cities nationwide with 35-40 million inoculations provided and benefiting 1.6 million newborn babies.

About 19 million children have received measles-rubella shots since 2014, the ministry noted, adding that thanks to the programme, Vietnam has successfully eradicated neonatal paralysis and tetanus and drastically lowered fatalities as a result of infectious diseases.

To cope with recent vaccine shortages in full-cost inoculation programmes, the ministry rolled out long-term measures including promoting the domestic production of vaccines, and asking producers to increase the number of imported vaccines.

It also required State medical establishments offering full-cost vaccination services to use vaccines similar to those used in the national free campaigns in order to facilitate access.

Experts from the World Health Organisation said that all vaccines used in Vietnam, including those produced in-country, are safe for users.-VNA