At least ten babies have died in Vietnam following Quinvaxem vaccination since October 2013. Photo: Dieu Hien
Health authorities in Bac Ninh Province said a two-month-old baby who died Sunday night after getting a shot of the 5-in-1 vaccine Quinvaxem and an oral polio vaccine that morning was “hypersensitive.”
The child got her first dose of both vaccines at a local medical center at around 8:30 a.m. Three hours later she turned pale and began to cry inconsolably. Her family took her to a hospital in the northern province and then to the Central Pediatrics Hospital in Hanoi where she died at around 9 p.m.
Health officials in Bac Ninh and Hanoi said the baby died due to anaphylactic shock as she was too sensitive to the vaccines’ ingredients.
They said the vaccines had been well preserved and the administration followed protocols.
Quinvaxem is a WHO-approved drug distributed by Berna Biotech Korea Corp. that is much cheaper than alternatives. It has been administered in the country for free since June 2010 under a national immunization program to protect children against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenza type B.
The death is at least the tenth related to the vaccine since October 2013, when it was used again after a five-month suspension after investigations found it was not to blame for nine deaths between November 2012 and March 2013.
Two other babies also died of anaphylactic shock in October, but local health authorities as well as the World Health Organization have repeatedly encouraged parents to continue using the vaccine.