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The Hepatitis BHepatitis B vaccination encouraged vaccination programme will be maintained and infants should be vaccinated against the virus within 24 hours after being born, said the Ministry of Health.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien met with leading medical experts in Hanoi on July 24 to discuss issues related to the death of three newborns in central Quang Tri province after having hepatitis B vaccination.

Minister Tien asked relevant agencies to cooperate with police forces to conduct further investigation into the three fatal cases.

She also urged the Preventive Medicine Department to coordinate with the World Health Organization (WHO) to send samples of Hepatitis B vaccine given to the three infants in Quang Tri to a foreign independent organization for crosscheck.

Nguyen Van Binh, Head of the Preventive Medicine Department, advised parents to take their babies to preventive medicine centres for Hepatitis B vaccination. Newborns should be given Hepatitis B vaccine as soon as possible to prevent mother-to-child transmission of some infectious diseases, he added.

Nguyen Tran Hien, Head of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), said two of the four batches of Hepatitis B vaccine provided for the national vaccination programme have been suspended in the wake of three infant deaths in Quang Tri. The remaining two batches will be used as usual.

On another infant death reported in Binh Thuan, participants concluded that the infant died of unknown reason and did not show any symptoms of anaphylactic shock after vaccination and that the vaccine given to the victim was not included in the batches of Hepatitis B vaccine used in Quang Tri.


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