[back] Rabies

Institute leads charge to curb unsafe rabies vaccine




Vietnam’s Central Institute for Epidemics and Hygiene has asked the Health Ministry to ban the production of the Fuenzalida rabies vaccine after a man was allegedly paralyzed by the drug.

The 28-year-old Ho Chi Minh City resident suffered paralysis after receiving the fourth of six vaccination shots earlier this month.

The institute called for Fuenzalida, a mouse brain vaccine against rabies, to be gradually replaced with safer but costlier vaccines like Verorab by 2008.

It also petitioned the government to pay for the vaccinations of the poor and children below 15.

Last year, eight out of 400,000 Fuenzalida-vaccinated Vietnamese suffered complications.

The vaccine has been in use in Vietnam for the past three decades, even though the World Health Organization (WHO) strongly advised against its use in 1996.

According to the Health Ministry, around 600,000 Vietnamese need rabies vaccinations annually

The country, with a population of over 80 million, is encouraging full vaccinations for all people and dogs in order to contain the disease by 2010 and eradicate it by 2015.

Source: Tuoi Tre – Translated by Tuong Nhi