HCMC – The Health Ministry will deliver 10 million doses of the diphtheria vaccine to vaccinate some five million people in the Central Highlands, which has reported several outbreaks of diphtheria, as part of the most large-scale vaccination program ever to combat the contagious disease in Vietnam.
The program was introduced at a working session between the Health Ministry’s delegation led by Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long and the local authorities on July 9.
The vaccine supplies will be dispatched promptly to serve the fight against diphtheria in the region, with priority given to people from ethnic minorities and those living in remote and disadvantaged areas.
Between July and August, people who missed out on the vaccine in 11 districts and towns that were hit by diphtheria since 2019 will be vaccinated.
From September to November, the immunization campaign will be expanded to 19 districts hit by the deadly respiratory disease since 2013.
Unvaccinated people in the remaining 20 districts and towns will receive the lifesaving vaccine between December and February 2021.
Diphtheria has hit the Central Highlands since 2013 and has spread widely in the following years. In the past few months, the region has reported 68 diphtheria cases including three deaths in the provinces of Dak Nong, Kon Tum, Gia Lai and DakLak. Of these, Dak Nong recorded the highest number of infections, at 28, followed by Kon Tum with 25 cases.
In response to the disease, the Health Ministry has taken various prevention and control measures, including sending health workers to support affected areas, ramping up efforts to monitor and detect infected cases, conducting quarantine activities and providing preventive treatment and care to local residents of vulnerable areas, apart from launching the recent large-scale vaccination program.