Routine immunization for children in Viet Nam boosted with the arrival of 490,600 doses of DTP-HepB-Hib vaccine from Australia in partnership with UNICEF

18 December 2023
Routine immunization for children in Viet Nam boosted with the arrival of 490,600 doses of DTP-HepB-Hib vaccine from Australia in partnership with UNICEF

Ha Noi, 17th December 2023 -- In an urgent effort to safeguard children from life-threatening diseases, the Australian Embassy in Hanoi and UNICEF have successfully delivered a shipment of 490,600 doses of lifesaving DTP-HepB-HiB vaccine (or pentavalent vaccine) to Viet Nam’s most vulnerable populations.

The pentavalent vaccine is a single shot that provides protection against five illnesses: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B and haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). While Viet Nam produces many vaccines domestically, acquiring the pentavalent vaccine requires procurement from approved international suppliers. With the generous support of the Australian Government, UNICEF worked to ensure the best procurement opportunities available in the global vaccine market.

An estimated 114,000 Vietnamese children under one year old in 2022 failed to receive any doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine, which is used as the global marker for immunization coverage. In addition, due to the recent shortage of this vaccine in Viet Nam, an estimated 440,000 children who were born in early 2023 have not yet received any dose of this essential vaccine.

Children who are not vaccinated are at an increased risk of death or ongoing severe illness that are easily prevented with the vaccine. High numbers of unvaccinated children may result in outbreaks of preventable diseases. These risks threaten the gains achieved by Viet Nam towards reducing child mortality over the past few decades. It is important that action continue to be taken by the Government and Ministry of Health to ensure that essential vaccines reach every child in a timely fashion.

Australian Ambassador H.E. Andrew Goledzinowski said, “Australia is very proud to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and UNICEF to provide a short-term solution to address the current gap in vaccine availability in Viet Nam. This support builds on Australia’s collaboration with Viet Nam to successfully address COVID-19 pandemic in the previous years. Response to crisis and routine challenges requires strong leadership and we commend the Minister of Health, H.E. Dao Hong Lan, for her determination to address the vaccine shortage and ensure adequate vaccine supply in the future. We have every confidence that the Ministry of Health has strong plans to restore Viet Nam’s immunization program in the near future”.

490,600 doses of DTP-HepB-Hib vaccine from Australia in partnership with UNICEF
UNICEF Viet Nam\Vu Le Hoang

UNICEF Representative in Viet Nam, Ms. Rana Flowers commented: “UNICEF’s partnership with the government of Viet Nam and the Australian Government is bringing a life-saving opportunity to many children who missed their doses or have never been vaccinated. This contribution will have an immediate positive impact on the alarming numbers of children who should have received their vaccine doses months ago. But ongoing action is needed.  Until the gap in routine immunization coverage is filled, children will remain at risk of contracting and dying from diseases that can be prevented. UNICEF will continue to support the Ministry of Health to ensure that every child in every corner of the country receives their routine immunization (now and in the future), while restoring and further improving immunization services to pre-pandemic levels. Efforts to deliver vaccines to every child require targeted catch-up campaigns to be rolled out immediately. To reach every child at risk, an urgent amendment is needed to the current guidelines to ensure that children not yet vaccinated, who have already reached one year of age, can be immediately vaccinated”.

For further information, please contact:

Nguyen Le Trang, Australian Embassy at email:

Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, UNICEF Viet Nam at email:

Media contacts

Ms Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong
Advocacy and Communications Specialist
Tel: +84 (024) 38500225
Tel: +84 (0)904154678


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