To deal with the shortage of hepatitis B vaccine in Vietnam, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has decided to give Vietnam around 1.3 million doses of the vaccine as aid, said deputy minister of Health Cao Minh Quang on June 11. Through a Swiss pharmaceutical firm, this volume of vaccine, produced in the Republic of Korea, is on the way to Vietnam.
Though the vaccine is provided by Unicef, Vietnam will carefully test the vaccine before use to prevent such catastrophes as those which occurred recently, said Quang. Previously, Vietnam didn’t test donated vaccine.
Before some deaths related to hepatitis B vaccine happened in Vietnam, hepatitis B produced by LG firm of the Republic of Korea accounted for 70-80% of the volume of hepatitis B vaccine used in Vietnam.
After this type of vaccine is no longer used in Vietnam, the National extended vaccination programme has used the locally-produced vaccine as an alternative.
The Vaccine and Bio-medical Product Co is urgently producing hepatitis B vaccine to meet the domestic need. However, the time for production is at least four months. To deal with vaccine shortage in the coming time, Vietnam still needs the vaccines provided by Unicef.