Vietnam province recalls Quinvaxem batch after another baby dies
Health authorities in the Central Highlands’ Lam Dong Province have revoked a batch of Quinvaxem pentavalent vaccine after a four-month-old boy died one day after receiving the injection.
Dinh Ngo Ngoc Vuong Anh was given the five-in-one shot at the Ward 7 medical center in Da Lat on March 15 and developed fever after coming home, for which his parents gave him Paracetamol.
He seemed better the next morning and was willing to have milk again, but more than two hours later, the family found him dead, the boy’s mother said.
The Lam Dong Health Department, Ho Chi Minh City’s Pasteur Institute and vaccine experts from the Children’s Hospital No.1, also in HCMC, are examining the direct cause of Anh’s death.
The batch, like all Quinvaxem vaccines in Vietnam, was made in South Korea and was received by the Lam Dong Health Department from the health ministry three months ago.
Anh is the second death in Lam Dong since November and the eighth nationwide among babies to be given the vaccine, which is listed as a pre-qualified medicine by the WHO and purports to immunize recipients against five diseases – diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b).
It has been distributed in Vietnam for free since June 2010 as part of a program run by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization through the nonprofit organization UNICEF.
All victims suffered from various symptoms including fevers, vomiting and the appearance of bruises all over their bodies.
Local authorities suspended all controversial batches for testing, but then the Health Ministry and WHO both said there are no problems with the vaccine’s quality, its distribution, preservation, or administering.
Quinvaxem was introduced globally in 2006 by the Netherlands-based biopharmaceutical company Crucell. Pharmaceutical companies have pushed the vaccine to “low-income” countries.
It costs around VND77,000 (less than four US dollars) a dose, while new alternatives produced in the US and Belgium cost ten times more.
By Gia Binh, Thanh Nien News