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Vaccine-related deaths reach 11 in Vietnam

English.news.cn   2014-01-17 14:14:30

HANOI, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- An infant in southern Vietnam's Lam Dong province has died after receiving Quinvaxem vaccine, bringing the total of such cases to 11 in the country since the begining of 2013, local press reported Friday.

A three-month-old boy died Wednesday, nearly 17 hours after being injected Quinvaxem vaccine. Local authorities are on their way to look into the cause of death, Tuoi Tre (Youth) online newspaper reported.

Former Deputy Minister of Health Trinh Quan Huan said that Quinvaxem is among the vaccines that caused the highest reaction rate, reports said.

Huan proposed that the government set aside more budget or to find more donors to replace Quinvaxem with a safer vaccine.

NIHE quoted Nguyen Nhat Cam, director of Vietnam's capital Hanoi Center for Preventive Medicine, as saying Friday that Quinvaxem is a South Korean-imported vaccine that protects children out of five deadly infectious diseases including diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and Hib.

Since it was included in Vietnamese National expanded Program on Immunization in June, 2010, the death toll resulting from Quinvaxem among kids has risen to 33 as of early 2014.

In late December 2013, World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund issued a joint announcement in Hanoi, saying there is no connection between the Quinvaxem vaccine and possible deaths among children after vaccinated.

However, recent deaths relating the vaccine triggered worries among Vietnamese parents about the links between the deaths or undesirable responses in some children and the "five in one" Quinvaxem vaccine.

Some refused to give vaccination for their children. Huynh Thai Phong, a reader, commented on VNExpress online newspaper on Friday that he wondered why Quinvaxem is still allowed to use after causing many deaths for kids.

An anonymous reader agreed with Phong, saying that he won't bring his kids to the national expanded program on immunization and will use paid vaccine instead.

A reader named "Mai Nguyen" commented in a rage as she advised the government to stop the vaccine immediately, adding that vaccination is for prevention, not for death.

Nonetheless, officials seem to hold a different viewpoint over the quality of Quinvaxem vaccine amid worries of local people.

In December 2013, Nguyen Tran Hien, director of NIHE cum chief of the National Expanded Program on Immunization, said in a press conference that there is no vaccine with 100 percent safety and the quality of Vietnamese vaccine is good.

Hien also admitted that the proportion of Vietnamese vaccinated children declined recently due to the decrease in the confidence of Vietnamese parents.

Editor: chengyang
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