Chaos triggers vaccination service to be halted in Hanoi
People are seen gathering at the Polyvac Vaccination Center in Hanoi on the morning of December 25, 2015.Tuoi Tre
All vaccination services that offer the injection of the 5-in-1 Pentaxim vaccine have to be stopped until a new announcement is released, head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine Tran Dac Phu said today.
The general department will meet with representatives from all vaccination centers to discuss a solution to the issue before continuing the services, Phu added.
The announcement resulted from a chaotic situation that occurred at the Polyvac Vaccination Center on Luong The Vinh Street in the capital city.
Many people started to rush to the center at around 10:00 pm yesterday and the situation spiraled out of control this morning, as some 600 parents flooded the place.
Many children, some of whom are only a few months old, were also seen in the crowd.
The service was scheduled to begin at 7:30 am on Friday and only 140 shots of the 5-in-1 Pentaxim vaccine would be distributed this time, according to center.
Local authorities arrived at the center to control the situation and were forced to temporarily cease the service.
The disorder happened as the center did not issue the list of people who would be provided with the shots as carried out in other facilities, one of the parents said.
All vaccination centers in northern Vietnam have only been provided with 15,000 shots of Pentaxim, which is significantly lower than the real demand, according to Truong Quoc Cuong, head of the Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health.
About 34,000 additional shots are expected to be imported into Vietnam at the end of the month, the official said.
Pentaxim is a French-made type of paid vaccine which is meant to prevent five common, potentially fatal childhood diseases: diphtheria (D), tetanus (T), pertussis (P, whooping cough), hepatitis B (HepB), and Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib).
The vaccine is considered the alternative to the free Quinvaxem vaccine, which has the same medical effects and is included in Vietnam’s National Expanded Immunization Program.
Pentaxim is thought to be safer and increasingly preferred by Vietnamese parents, following multiple cases in which infants died after being injected with Quinvaxem.
Here are some photos of the situation at the Polyvac Vaccination Center in Hanoi on December 25:
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