Saturday , September 30 2023

251,000 infants in Vietnam miss lifesaving vaccines due to Covid-19

More than 251,000 children missed out on one or more doses of vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP) in Vietnam last year.

The figure is almost a fourfold increase compared to 63,001 in 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said in a joint press release Tuesday.

At present, 52 out of 63 citie and provinces in Vietnam have failed to meet the required target of having 90 percent of children below one year old receive all recommended routine vaccines, it said.

Globally, the percentage of children who received three doses of the DTP vaccine fell 5 percentage points between 2019 and 2021 to 81 percent.

As a result, 25 million children missed out on one or more doses of DTP through routine immunization services in 2021 alone. This is two million more than those who missed out in 2020 and six million more than in 2019.

The decline was due to many factors including an increased number of children living in conflict and fragile settings where immunization access is often challenging, increased misinformation and Covid-19 related issues like service and supply chain disruptions, resource diversion to response efforts, and containment measures that limited immunization service access and availability, the two organizations said.

Vietnam was hit by the worst Covid-19 wave last year and many parts including the biggest cities of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi were put under strict social distancing measures for months.

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