There has been a surge in parents bringing their children for MMR immunisation as the number of measles deaths associated with the ongoing outbreak in Vietnam increases. The outbreak began at the end of 2013, and as of 20 April 2014, a total of 3430 confirmed cases, a further 5800 suspected cases and 123 deaths have been recorded countrywide.
The three most recent measles deaths were reported on Monday from the north-central province of Nghe An. During this outbreak, 158 cases have required hospital treatment in Nghe An province since February 2014. The majority of measles deaths (111) were registered in the Central Paediatrics Hospital in the capital city of Hanoi in the north of the country.
No measles deaths have been reported in the southern half of the country and MMR vaccine uptake has increased rapidly in recent days in Ho Chi Minh City. At one immunisation centre, 600 MMR vaccines were administered in one day, with a further 350 adminsitered the following day.
Advice for Travellers
It should be confirmed that children have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-15 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 6 months, while unimmunised adults who have not had the disease themselves may consider vaccination if thought to be at risk. Two doses of MMR vaccine are required to give adequate protection.