Vietnam suspends use of Quinvaxem vaccine for children
Updated: 2013-05-09 19:48:00
HANOI, May 9 (Xinhua) -- The Vietnamese Ministry of Health instructed health centers across the country to suspend the use of Quinvaxem vaccine until the World Health Organization reports its final investigation conclusions, local media reported on Thursday.
The ministry released the instruction after local media reported that since November 2012, nine children died after receiving Quinvaxem vaccinations.
The vaccine, administered to children, is a preventative inoculation against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) , hepatitis B and H. and influenza Type B.
Quinvaxem is manufactured by the Berna Biotech Korea Corporation and was licensed for use in Vietnam's national expanded immunization program sponsored by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.
According to the ministry, since June 2010, Vietnam has imported 16.2 million doses of Quinvaxem, 15.2 million doses of which have already been distributed, state-run Voice of Vietnam reported on its website.
The World Health Organization has sent experts to Vietnam to investigate the alleged serious side-effects of Quinvaxem, a 5-in- 1 vaccine for children, following some suspected deaths in the country, according to the report.
Batches of Quinvaxem have also been sent to the United Kingdom for further testing.
A ministry representative said that the suspension of Quinvaxem use will not affect other vaccines under the national expanded immunization program.