Vietnam health ministry takes measures to promote safe vaccination

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Health inspectors will continue their "comprehensive" inspections of vaccination safety issues through September and October throughout the country, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said at a meeting in Hanoi Friday.

Tien said the inspections were meant to avoid vaccination mistakes, which can contribute to the loss of public confidence on health staff.

The meeting was held a few days after the health ministry announced that the country will resume the use of five-in-one Quinvaxem vaccines in October after a five-month suspension due to the deaths of several babies after vaccination.

The inspections are part of the country's plan, approved by the health minister in August, to enhance vaccination safety.

Nguyen Van Binh, director of the General Department of Preventive Medicine said the progress was slow and was only carried out at about 50 percent of 16,609 vaccination centers nationwide as of press time.

In many localities, only 30-55 percent of inspected vaccination centers operate efficiently.

Many others have poor and downgraded facilities, "illogical" arrangement of devices for injection procedures, and the progress of training vaccination staff is slower than required.

He said these centers should quickly submit their plans to cities and provinces' leaders to allocate funds to help them improve current condition.

According to the health ministry, more than 190 countries and territories worldwide undertake extended programs on immunization.

About 85 percent of babies in the world receive vaccine shots to protect them from tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and measles every year and the vaccination save lives of 2.5 million babies annually.

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