By all means, enough vaccines must be provided to children as soon as possible, asked Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha at a working session with leaders of some ministries, sectors and localities on the purchase of vaccines for children within the expanded immunisation programme, held on June 10.
He made the order amid a number of emerging problems in vaccine purchasing activities.
Minister of Health Dao Hong Lan said that the ministry was assigned to buy and allocate vaccines to localities within the target programme for the medical-population programme for the 2016-2020 period.
After this programme ended in 2020, the ministry received budget from the central budget for the work to ensure vaccines for 2021 and 2022
She said that the ministry hopes to be allowed to continue the vaccine purchase for the expanded immunisation programme as it is an effective scheme with significant importance in ensuring social welfare for women and children.
She said that recently, the ministry has worked with a number of ministries, sectors and localities on measures in purchasing, bidding and negotiating for prices of a number of kinds of vaccines.
Meanwhile, Vice Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health Nguyen Anh Dung pointed to a number of legal obstacles in the work. He said that all vaccines in the expanded immunisation programme are on the list of drugs for national centralised bidding, so there is no mechanism for self-biding in localities.
Dung suggested that central agencies provide a budget to the Ministry of Health for bidding activities and allow it to allocate vaccines.
Agreeing with Dung, Director of the Hanoi Department of Health Tran Thi Nhi Ha said that to date, the capital city has run out of some vaccines in the expanded immunisation programme, but there is no mechanism for the city to buy vaccines by itself.
Vice Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology Duong Thi Hong said that so far, nine out of the 11 kinds of vaccines for the expanded immunisation programme have run out.
Addressing the working session, Deputy PM Ha asked the Ministry of Health to focus on settling the problems in buying vaccines for the programme.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was asked to work with manufacturers, international organisations and countries to seek more supplies of vaccines for the programme.
The Deputy PM requested the Ministry of Health to immediately issue a guidance on disease prevention and diagnostic and treatment protocols for medical facilities when children contract diseases.