Nationwide expanded vaccination campaign reels in success hinh anh 1 Nationwide expanded vaccination campaign reels in success (Photo:VNA)
The nationwide measles-rubella vaccination campaign for eight months from September 2014 to May 2015 has provided free-of-charge immunisation shots to nearly 20 million children aged 1-14 years, or 98.2 percent of the child population, as heard at conference in Hanoi on August 7.

The campaign has contributed to containing the measles outbreak in Vietnam and reinforcing the trust of local residents about immunisation, including those from remote areas, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said.

She recalled that with the motto “prevention is better than cure”, Vietnam has carried out a national expanded immunisation programme since the early 1980’s which helped reduce the rate of communicable disease infections and fatalities.

The ministry hopes to receive further assistance from the Government and relevant ministries, departments and socio-political organisations in persuading parents to take their children to vaccination sites to prevent dangerous communicable diseases.

Director of the ministry’s Preventive Medicine Department Tran Dac Phu reported that all districts across the country achieved the target vaccine coverage of 95 percent. However, 23 communes in the five mountainous provinces of Binh Phuoc, Dak Lak, Lao Cai, Lai Chau and Cao Bang are still below the target rate.

The largest-ever campaign was carried out in over 66,000 sites nationwide, including mobile sites in mountainous and remote areas. More than 325,000 health workers and 645,000 volunteers have been involved in the campaign, Phu reported.

He noted that no serious incidences occurred during the vaccination campaign. A mere 0.08 percent, or 15,000 vaccinated cases, had slight reactions such as fevers or headaches.

The Ministry of Health is setting up a science council to address the psychological reaction reported in some groups of children in localities such as Lao Cai, Thanh Hoa, Ho Chi Minh City and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

Representatives from the World Health Organisation in Vietnam congratulated the country on its successful vaccination campaign and suggested the Government and Ministry of Health prepare necessary budgets and human resources to ensure vaccines are always made available for all children.-VNA