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Millions of children in Viet Nam protected by vaccination over 40 years

VGP - Millions of children in Viet Nam have been protected by immunization over the past 40 years, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF offices in Viet Nam.

April 25, 2024 3:29 PM GMT+7
Millions of children in Viet Nam protected by vaccination over 40 years- Ảnh 1.

The number of children dying from vaccine-preventable causes in Viet Nam has been reduced significantly since 1981, when Viet Nam introduced the national immunization program–the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI)–with the aim to ensure that every child, everywhere in Viet Nam can receive the lifesaving protection of routine immunizations.

Since the start of the program, Viet Nam has eradicated smallpox and polio, eliminated neonatal tetanus, and dramatically reduced other vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, diphtheria, pertussis, and Japanese encephalitis, by immunizing millions of children.

Vaccines are one of humanity's greatest achievements. Globally, in the last 50 years alone, vaccines have saved nearly 154 million lives (more than 3 million a year) with more children now living to see their first birthday and beyond than at any other time in human history.

UNICEF Viet Nam Representative Rana Flowers said, Viet Nam's immunization program has been instrumental in saving children's lives and alleviating the devastating impact of vaccine-preventable diseases on families, communities and the country as a whole for over 40 years.

"Looking forward, we strongly encourage the Government of Viet Nam to sustain this tremendous achievement, so that every child has the opportunity to survive, thrive and lead a healthy life", she shared.

In Viet Nam, vaccines covered by the program are free for all children. Immunization is safe and the most effective way to protect children against many preventable deadly diseases.

However, like many other countries, routine immunization services in Viet Nam were disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Children who are not vaccinated are at an increased risk of serious illnesses that are easily prevented with a vaccine.

In addition, high numbers of unvaccinated children may result in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. These risks are threatening the gains achieved by Viet Nam towards reducing child deaths over the past few decades.

It is important that accelerated efforts and bold action continue to be taken by the Government to ensure that essential vaccines reach every child in a timely fashion–not only those who are due for vaccination, but also all those who missed their vaccinations in the last four years.

WHO Representative in Viet Nam Dr Angela Pratt said, Viet Nam's success in eliminating some, and dramatically reducing rates of other, vaccine-preventable diseases shows the power of vaccination.

Action to achieve these remarkable results has been spearheaded by the Government and supported by strong cooperation from health-care workers in even the remotest communes, local partners, community-based organizations, local leaders and communities, international development partners, donors and scientists over many years.

The World Immunization Week is held from April 24-30./.